In Cairo, Obama pledges new era of cooperation and respect
The president addressed extremism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, women's rights, and nuclear proliferation, among other topics.
US President Barack Obama took the stage today at Cairo University to deliver a long-awaited address to the Muslim world. He pledged a new era of cooperation and mutual respect, but acknowledged to his audience that "no speech can eradicate centuries of mistrust."
Obama spoke for close to an hour to 3,000 invited guests in an ornate hall festooned with Egyptian and American flags.
His talk was broadcast live on state-run television in order to reach a broad audience throughout the Middle East.
It fulfilled a campaign promise that, if elected, Obama would travel to a major Muslim capital to address tensions in the relationship between the United States and the world's 1.4 billion Muslims.
At the same time, he urged the Islamic world to meet America half way.
"The cycle of suspicion and discord must end," he said. "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world."
He continued, "America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition."
Obama underscored what he said were common principles: justice, progress, and tolerance, and pledged to build a partnership, "based on what Islam is and not on what Islam isn't."
The president tackled seven larger points at the university: