The President's Speech in Cairo: A New Beginning





Speech in Cairo  |  Expanding Opportunity  |  Science & Technology  |  Democracy & Human Rights  |  Interfaith Engagement | Timeline

"I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." -President Obama, Cairo, June 4, 2009

On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.  Specifically, the President said that the U.S. would seek a more comprehensive engagement with Muslim-majority countries, countries with significant Muslim populations, and their people by expanding partnerships in areas like education, economic development, science and technology, and health, among others, while continuing to work together to address issues of common concern.  Since the President’s speech, the Administration remains committed to confronting common challenges and seizing shared opportunities.

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Expanding Opportunity

In Cairo, the President stated that the U.S. will continue to seek a broader engagement with Muslims around the world, including new partnerships that he announced in education, economic development, science and technology and health.


Science and Technology

In response to the President’s call to expand opportunities in science, technology, health, and innovation in Muslim-majority countries and with Muslim communities, departments across the government have launched or facilitated numerous programs during the past year that expand partnerships in the fields of science and technology.


Democracy and Human Rights

The President said that no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other, but that America is committed to advancing governments that reflect the will of the people. He committed the U.S. to support human rights everywhere: the ability of people to speak their mind and to have a say in how they 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; and the freedom to live as people choose. Governments that protect these rights, the President said, are ultimately more stable, successful and secure.


Interfaith Engagement

President Obama is dedicated to fostering interfaith dialogue, cooperation and understanding. One of the priorities of the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships is to create opportunities for interreligious cooperation. To do this, this Office works with offices and programs throughout the Federal Government, including the National Security Council, Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development and Corporation for National and Community Service to foster dialogue and cooperation at home and around the globe.


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