Ending Trip, President Obama Preaches Engagement With World

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"So, yes, I think it is just enlightened for the US and NATO allies and other allies around the world, to do what we can to eliminate the threat of al-Qaeda," Obama concluded. "I think, it’s important that we just don’t do that militarily. I think it’s important we provide educational opportunity for young people in Pakistan and Afghanistan so that, they see a different pack."

[Global News]

NORMAN MIWAMBO Reports On President Obama's European Trip, April 7----
On his last day of the European tour, President Barack Obama said: "I am personally committed to a new chapter in American engagement."

The president spoke at a news conference with University students at a Town Hall, in Istanbul, Turkey. He later made a surprise stop-over in Iraq.

"We can’t afford to talk about the past and focus only on our differences or to let the walls of mistrust to go up around us," Obama added, while in Turkey.

He said the United States needs to be more patient in its dealings with the world and called for a greater understanding among nations. "Different cultures must talk to each other," said President Obama during his question and answer session.

"Some people are saying that maybe I’m being too ideological. I made a speech about reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons and some people say that will never happen," he continued.

"And some people are saying why are you discussing the Middle East when it’s not going be possible for the Israel and Palestine to come together or why are you reaching to the Iranians because the USA and Iran can never agree."

"My attitude is that all these things were heard and I’m not naïve," the president said. " I think there is a lot of progress that can be made. And as I said in my opening remarks, the most important thing to start with is dialogue. When a chance to meet people from other cultures and other countries-- and you listen to them, and find out, that even though, you don’t speak the same language, or you may have a different religious faith, it turns out that you care about your family, you have the same hopes about being able to have a career that’s useful to the society. You have hope that you can raise-up a family of your own. And your children will be healthy, have good education. All those things that human beings all around the world share are more important than things that we differ on."

"That is why young people are very important and that’s why young people can be helpful," President Obama told the students. "We need to bridge the gap with other parts of the world," he said.

"America is still a land of opportunity. I was not born into a wealth or fame. I come from a racial minority, my name is unusual for the United States. I think people see my election as proof and testimony that although we are imperfect our society has continued to improve."

"Like any other nation, America has made mistakes and has its flaws but for more than centuries it has strived to seek a more perfect union. America is still very new in terms of civilization compared to Turkey. So we don't want to be stuck on those old arguments, we need to look forward but not always looking backwards," he said.

"The suggestion is that even though I presented a difference face, from Bush that the power remains the same and there is not much difference. I think that will be tested in time," he said.

Obama further said: "When it comes to Iraq, I opposed the war. It was a bad idea, but as we bring out our troops, I have responsibility; we do so in a careful way so you don’t see a complete collapse into violence. Some people might say that, 'you opposed the war why don’t you just get them out?' Just because I opposed it, doesn’t mean that I don’t have responsibility to make sure that we do things in responsible fashion. "

He added: "I agree that al-Qaeda is an enormous threat, not just to the US but to the world. I have no sympathy, and have no patience for people who would go around blowing up innocent people, for political cause, I don’t believe in that."

"So, yes, I think it is just enlightened for the US and NATO allies and other allies around the world, to do what we can to eliminate the threat of al-Qaeda," Obama concluded.

He, however, said: "I think, it’s important that we just don’t do that militarily. I think it’s important we provide educational opportunity for young people in Pakistan and Afghanistan so that, they see a different pack."

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