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Obama: Trip Opportunity To Reach Out To Muslims

President Obama tells NBC he hopes his trip to Cairo and the Middle East will create "constructive" discussions with Muslims.


WILLIAMS: You're about to give a speech to the Muslim world, really, the tent pole of this big trip you're embarking on. It's been said it's a speech that your predecessor perhaps could not have given constitutionally, given who he is, and could not have given because the attack came on his watch. Other than your personal style, what has changed, to enable you to give this address? OBAMA: Well you know, I'm not sure that it's true that President Bush couldn't have given a speech in the Muslim world. I think that a US president, even where there is a lot of tension in the various parts of the world is always, is always received as a critical figure, and the world economics and politics. And people want to know what they have to say. So I wouldn't suggest that somehow, I'm uniquely positioned to deliver this speech. And I also don't want to, you know, load up too many expectations on this speech. After all, one speech is not gonna transform very real policy differences and some very difficult issues surrounding the Middle East and the relationship between Islam and the west. But I am confident that we're in a moment where in Islamic countries, I think there's a recognition that the path of extremism is not actually gonna deliver a better life for people. I think there's a recognition that simply being anti-American is not gonna solve their problems. The steps we're taking now to leave Iraq takes that issue and diffuses it a little bit.

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