Obama plans major address in Islamic capital: interview

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WASHINGTON: President-elect Barack Obama plans to give a major address in an Islamic capital soon after taking office as he seeks to mend America s image in the Muslim world, a Chicago Tribune interview said.

I think we ve got a unique opportunity to reboot America s image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular, Obama said in the interview published late Tuesday on the Tribune s website.

Obama promised an unrelenting desire to create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together.

The world is ready for that message.

While he described a fresh approach to diplomacy, Obama said his administration would not shrink from the struggle against terrorism, referring to the recent attacks on India s financial capital.

The message I want to send is that we will be unyielding in stamping out the terrorist extremism we saw in Mumbai, said Obama, who gave the interview from his transition team s offices in Chicago.

The Tribune wrote that Obama plans to give a major address in an Islamic capital as part of his global outreach but did not quote him directly.

Obama also said he would be sworn on Jan. 20 using his full name, Barack Hussein Obama.

During the presidential campaign, some of Obama s political opponents would refer to his middle name in an attempt to portray him as a secret Muslim.

But the Christian president-elect said he would follow tradition for the inauguration ceremony.

I think the tradition is that they use all three names, and I will follow the tradition, Obama told the paper. I m not trying to make a statement one way or another. I ll do what everybody else does.

His Republican rival John McCain reprimanded a supporter at one point during the campaign for referring to Obama by his full name, saying it was inappropriate.

When endorsing Obama in October, former secretary of state Colin Powell criticized those spreading false rumors claiming Obama as a Muslim, saying it reflected religious prejudice. -AFP

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