Thu, April 09, 2009
World > Middle East > Obama's travel to Europe

Cairo praises Obama's speech in Turkey as "first and significant"step

2009-04-07 15:51:41 GMT2009-04-07 23:51:41 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CAIRO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama's speech in Turkey on Islam is the "first and significant" step for mitigating the tensions between the United States and the Muslim world.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry quoted Abul Gheit as saying in a press release that "Obama's speech is the first and significant step for easing the tensions between the Muslim world and the United States in the past few years."

The Egyptian top diplomat also praised Obama's commitment to the two-state solution, saying it is an "necessary message" now.

"The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam," Obama said Monday in a firm tone in the Turkish capital of Ankara, adding that "the United States strongly supports the goal of two states."

Three interlocking deals of the Mideast peace process, namely the Egyptian-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the inter-Palestinian reconciliation dialogue and a proposed prisoner swap between Hamas and the Jewish state, have plunged into stagnation after the right-leaning Israeli administration assumed power last Tuesday.

Moreover, Egypt and Israel are at loggerheads over the harsh remarks of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has asked the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to "go to hell," and denied the validity of Annapolis conference.

Hinting at Lieberman's harangue, Obama said Monday "Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security...That is a goal that the parties agreed to in the Roadmap and at Annapolis...both must live up to the commitments they have made."

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