During a stop in Turkey, President Barack Obama reached out to the Muslim world, saying America was never at war with Islam and that he hopes to promote open communication in the future, reports the AFP.
“The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam,” the president told Turkey’s parliament. “We will listen carefully, bridge misunderstanding … We will be respectful, even when we do not agree,” he said.
The president also had some words for Turkey’s neighboring nation, Iran, which has been accused of attempting to build nuclear weapons.
“I have made it clear…that the United States seeks engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect,” he said. “Now, Iran’s leaders must choose whether they will try to build a weapon or build a better future for their people.”
About the Middle East peace process, Obama expressed support for having both Israeli and Palestinian states living peacefully together “side by side.”
The trip to Turkey is the last stop of Obama’s first European tour as president.