Russian Muslims hope Obama will improve ties with Russia

November 9th, 2008 - 1:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaMoscow, Nov 9 (RIA Novosti) Russian Muslims hope that US president-elect Barack Obama will be able to improve relations between Washington and Moscow, a deputy head of the Council of Muftis of Russia has said.”First of all, we congratulate Obama with the victory. We hope that relations between our countries will improve,” Damir Gizatullin said.

Relations between Russia and the US have plunged to a post-Cold War low in recent years over many issues, including the deployment of a US missile defence system in Central Europe and a brief conflict in August between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia, a Georgian breakaway republic.

Gizatullin added that Russian Muslims have a positive opinion of the newly elected US president and are happy with his election.

“It is probably because the new US president has Islamic roots,” he said.

Democrat Obama, who is the first African American to be elected US president, had a Kenyan grandfather who was a Muslim, and spent some of his early years in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population.

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