US media has hailed President Barack Obama’s call for a new beginning with the Muslim world, saying while his speech was sparse in detail it marked a historic break with the past.
“His message was sweeping and forceful, at times scolding and combative, promoting democracy in Egypt, warning Israelis against building new settlements, and acknowledging that the United States had fallen short of its ideals, particularly in the Iraq war,” wrote The New York Times in its online edition.
The Times praised the “new and nuanced tone” in the US leader’s 55-minute speech at Cairo University in which he vowed to forge a “new beginning” for Islam and America and to purge years of “suspicion and discord.”
“Obama offered few details for how to solve myriad problems and conflicts around the globe, but he offered up his own biography as a credible connection to his audience,” the leading US daily said.
“While the message touched upon a litany of challenges, it boiled down to simply this: Barack Hussein Obama was standing at the podium as the American president.”
Other commentators also focused on how Obama had drawn on his own personal history, as the son of a Kenyan man with Islamic roots who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, to connect with the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.