Arab leaders hope Obama will solve Palestinian problem

January 21st, 2009 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaCairo, Jan 21 (DPA) Arab leaders have sent congratulatory cables to newly sworn-in US President Barack Obama expressing their hope for a new era and asking him to work for achieving peace in the Middle East and solving the Palestinian problem.Tunisian President Zain al-Abidine Ben Ali expressed hope that the new US president would bring peace in the Middle East.

“I am sure that the strong relations and cooperation between Tunisia and the United States will be stronger … (and) I am sure you will not spare any effort to work to bring peace and stability in the Middle East and the justice, security and prosperity in the world,” read part of the cable Ben Ali sent to Obama.

King of Morocco Mohammed VI expressed hopes similar to the Tunisian leader, emphasising the need to end the tragedy of the Palestinian people and his confidence that under Obama, the US will help achieve major objectives “of the international community”.

Mohammed said in a statement that the Middle East “has become critical … and requires intensified efforts to put an end to the tragedy of the Palestinian people and guarantee their right to establish an independent state”.

In a cable to Obama, Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak said that he was looking forward to a “new stage of fruitful relations between Egypt and the United States on the various regional issues of the Middle East”, particularly the Palestinian issue, “which is an urgent priority and the key to resolving the rest of the crises in the region”.

The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, congratulated Obama.

Sources in the Saudi Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the event, saying that this is “an internal affair that belongs to the American people only”.

However, these sources, who preferred to stay anonymous, expressed their hope that Obama would be able to achieve a permanent peace and justice in the Middle East region.

In his first speech as president Tuesday, Obama promised to responsibly leave Iraq. He also promised to reach out to Muslims around the world, adding he wanted to seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

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