Obama Vows to Renew Muslim Ties in Ramadan Message


obama7President Barack Obama yesterday pledged “concrete actions” to renew ties with the Muslim world, in a message marking the start of Ramadan. “I want to reiterate my commitment to a new beginning between America and Muslims around the world,” Obama said in a video address posted as the world’s estimated 1.5 billion Muslims prepare for a month of fasting and reflection. Friday’s address echoed Obama’s landmark address in Cairo in June, when he laid out a new blueprint for US Middle East policy, pledging to end festering mistrust.Since then, Obama said US embassies in the Muslim world had held consultations with governments and citizens and he was now “focused on pursuing concrete actions.”

“We have listened. We have heard you,” he said.

The president also pledged “unyielding” support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and to “responsibly end the war in Iraq.”

Islam’s fasting month began today in most of the Arab world and Iran.

However, all Libyans as well Shiite Muslims in Lebanon, who determine the lunar month according to astronomical calculations, begun their fasting on Friday.

“I know this to be a festive time,” Obama said, alluding to his father’s Muslim background.

{LA Times/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}