Barack Obama set for keynote Egypt speech

Other News Materials 4 June 2009 10:20 (UTC +04:00)

US President Barack Obama is preparing to give a much-anticipated speech in Cairo, on the second leg of his tour of the Middle East and Europe, BBC reported.

Correspondents say the speech, aimed at young Arabs in the region, will avoid specific proposals but focus instead on improving US-Middle East relations.

Earlier, Mr Obama held talks in Riyadh with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, a new audio message said to be from al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has emerged, condemning Mr Obama.

The White House said the recording was an attempt to shift attention from Mr Obama's historic visit.

Barack Obama's Middle East tour is aimed at increasing US engagement with the Islamic world and overcoming misapprehensions on both sides.

His aides say the speech, to be given at Cairo University and broadcast to an audience of millions around the world, will be a "truth-telling" exercise.

The BBC's Christian Fraser in Cairo says Barack Obama wants to give a message of respect to a region which has often felt ignored, misunderstood or patronised by the US.

The president is expected to use the speech to discuss the current state of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and to set out how he views the conflict.

He will not include any specific proposals, but will articulate what he believes both sides need to do to resolve the current stalemate, says our correspondent.

White House officials have said that one speech alone will not heal divisions but could start a process to "re-energise the dialogue with the Muslim world".