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Obama arrives in Cairo on first visit to Egypt

world Updated: Jun 04, 2009 14:14 IST
Barack Obama's Cairo vist

Seeking to bridge the chasm between America and the Islamic world, President Barack Obama arrived at Cairo, the ancient centre of Arab civilisation, on Thursday from where he will deliver his much-awaited address to the Muslim world.

The visit, that will last only a few hours, would include a red-carpet reception in Al-Qubbah Presidential Palace in Cairo, a closed session of talks between Obama and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and a plenary talks session.

This will be followed by a one-hour address by the US President from the University of Cairo to world's 1.5 billion Muslims, whose distrust towards America Obama aims to address.

In what is being billed as a historic speech by White House, Obama is expected to be candid on issues of contention and tension between the US and the Muslim world.

The much anticipated speech, White House officials said is part of the overall objective to engage the Muslim world and take on misperceptions and differences compounded after eight years of fraught ties under Obama's predecessor George W Bush.

"He feels it is important to speak very openly and candidly about the very full range of issues that have caused some tensions between the US and the Muslim world, and then also present a great deal of opportunity for partnership in the future," Ben Rhodes, the President's speech writer, said.