Obama highlights issues concerning the US and Arab world (Part I)

June 4th, 2009 - 9:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Cairo (Egypt), June 4 (ANI): The United States President Barack Obama in his keynote speech on Thursday delved upon various issues that concerned America as well as the Arab world.

Obama said the first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms. “The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice, we went because of necessity.”

On Iraq, Obama said: “Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.”

While saying that the world needs to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world, Obama said: “Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”

Touching the third topic, which is Obama said was the question of shared interest in rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons, he said this issue as it’s been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“It will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries (Iran and America), and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.”

Describing ‘Democracy’ as the fourth issue, Obama acknowledged being aware of the controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy being connected to the war in Iraq.

On democracy in Iraq, Obama said: “Let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.”

Described religious freedom as the fifth issue of concern, and Obama said it needed to be addressed together.

“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. That is the spirit we need today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.”

“Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it.” Contd…

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