Muslims Happy with Obama's Speech

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BAGHDAD, Iraq - Muslim reaction to U.S. President Barack Obama's speech, delivered in Cairo Thursday morning, was very positive.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh was pleased with Obama's references to the Koran.

"The use of Koranic sayings plays a big part in a positive change of picture, but there is a necessity for action," al-Dabbagh said.

"The speech was historic and important and reflects a positive direction for the new administration [in Washington] and it is a new start," he said.

"I think there is clear support of a right for a Palestinian state and their right for a life, but Arabs are waiting for pressure to be exerted on Israel so it can stop violations in Gaza and the West Bank," he said.

Both Palestinian parties - Hamas and Fatah - were also happy with Obama's words.

"President Obama's speech is a good start and an important step toward a new American policy," Hamas legislator Mahmoud Ramahi said.

"There is a difference between his policy and Bush's policy. I see a change in the U.S. foreign policy discourse," Ramahi said.

A spokesman for Fatah-affiliated Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Obama's vision.

"His call for stopping settlement and for the establishment of a Palestinian state and his reference to the suffering of Palestinians…is a clear message to Israel that a just peace is built on the foundations of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Source: Haaretz

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