Obama Cairo speech: Arabs see change in US tone and policy
Muslims around the world on Thursday welcomed President Barack Obama's Cairo speech, saying it reflected a shift in American attitude and tone.
On his part, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said there was change in tone. But, according to the AP, he complained that Obama did not specifically note the suffering in Gaza Strip. "There is a change between the language of President Obama and previous speeches made by George Bush," he said.
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Obama's words. His spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeina, said that US President Barack Obama’s speech is a new American beginning, and a clear message to the Israelis. Abu Rdeina was quoted as saying by WAFA that President Obama’s preparedness for partnership, establishing confidence and facing tensions, and his words about the suffering of Palestinians and him saying that the time has come to establish a Palestinian state is the first essential step towards building a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
Abu Rdeina added: "We believe that Israel must take Obama’s Speech today seriously. He pointed that the US President’s call for Israel to stop colonization and for establishing a Palestinian state, and that Jerusalem is for Muslims and Christians is a clear message to Israel that it should choose between peace and the continuation of tension."
Turkish President Abdullah Gul called Obama's speech "realistic". "I find his position on regional peace very appropriate," Gul told Anatolia news agency. Obama's speech was "sincere, honest and realistic," Gul said.
Israel said it hopes that President Barack Obama's Cairo speech will lead to a "new era of reconciliation" with the Arab world. According to AFP, the Israeli government said it shares Obama's hope that his outreach to the Muslim world will be "the beginning of the end" of conflict and lead to general Arab recognition of Israel. Israel said Thursday it will "do all it can" to widen regional peace.