President to Muslim World: "Americans are not your enemy"
January 27, 2009
09:48 AM EDT
09:48 AM EDT
In his first interview with an Arab television station, President Barack Obama offered a bold change to America's relations with the Muslim world.
"My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives," President Obama told Al Arabiya. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."
In the interview, conducted in the White House map room, President Obama also expressed his commitment to tackling the Middle East peace process immediately.
"Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we're not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace, we're going to start now," he said. "It may take a long time to do, but we're going to do it now."
The interview is part of the President’s broader outreach to the Muslim world, which includes a promise to make a major address from the capital of a Muslim nation.
Al Arabiya is a 24-hour Arabic-language news channel based out of Dubai.