UN hopes Obama speech marks new era in US-Islam ties | world | Hindustan Times
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UN hopes Obama speech marks new era in US-Islam ties

world Updated: Jun 04, 2009 23:41 IST

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was encouraged by US President Barack Obama's Cairo speech and hopes it will mark a new beginning in US relations with the Islamic world, the UN spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"The secretary general hopes that President Obama's message will herald the opening of a new chapter in relations between the United States and the Islamic world," spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement.

"He hopes that this will have a positive impact on the peace process in the Middle East and the resolution of a number of conflicts in the Middle East and beyond," she added.

In a landmark speech to the world's Muslims, Obama vowed to forge a "new beginning" for Islam and America to end a cycle of "suspicion and discord."

He laid out a new US blueprint for the Middle East, including a new Palestinian state and efforts to defuse a nuclear showdown with Iran.

Montas said that Ban was "strongly encouraged" by the Obama speech and "strongly welcomes its message of peace, understanding and reconciliation."

"The Secretary General believes that President Obama's speech is a crucial step in bridging divides and promoting intercultural understanding, which is a major objective of the United Nations," she added.