In his address to the Muslim world from Cairo this morning, President Barack Obama said he wanted to find a solution for peace and prosperity among Muslims and the rest of the world. The president called for a two-state solution for Isreal and Palestine, said no nation should impose their system of government on another and a call for the Muslim world to respect individual rights, freedoms and respect for the faith of others.
"But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things," he said. "The ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose."
Obama said he was committed to removing combat brigades from Iraq in 2010, and reaffirmed his commitment to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
"So America will defend itself," he told respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer."
He acknowledged the West's historical and cultural debt to Islam for acting as a holder of knowledge during the Dark and Middle Ages. But he also called upon Muslim-majority nations to embrace human progress and while maintaining their individual and distinctive cultures. He also said women should be given an equal role in society, which can be a harbinger of progress.
"I am convinced that our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons," he said. "And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous."
There were few protests in Egypt, and security was heavy in a country with state-controlled media. The city was also largely shut-down, although the Obama Administration has taken large steps to ensure the speech reaches as wide an audience as possible.
For the video of the speech and the full text, visit www.whitehouse.gov