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'US committed to build stronger bonds with Muslim world'

world Updated: Sep 16, 2009 07:34 IST

Citing the words of India's secular leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Frontier Gandhi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said that the Obama administration is committed to create "bridges of understanding and respect" with the Muslim world.

"We recognise that the relationship between the United States and Muslim communities has at times suffered from misunderstanding and misperception. But we are committed to learning and listening; to creating bridges of understanding and respect; and building stronger bonds of cooperation," Clinton said at the Iftaar dinner on the occasion of Id.

"It is, as one of my wonderful young aides who Farah has already referenced – Huma Abedin – summed up in the words of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, that we need to be inspired by our leaders to fight poverty, injustice and hate with, 'the weapon of the Prophet—patience and righteousness'. Well, that, to me, sums up much of what we celebrate tonight as we break fast," she said.

"We believe that there is more that unites people of all faiths than divides us," she said. The Obama administration, she noted, will work to ensure that "our communication, our partnerships, and our policies" reflect that core belief.

This was the first Iftaar dinner hosted by Clinton as the Secretary of State. She said the hallmark of Ramadan– charity, sacrifice and compassion– are also the values cherished by the Americans.

"They guide us towards good stewardship of our families, our communities, our country, and our world".