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Obama calls for 'new way forward' with Muslim world

Obama calls for WASHINGTON: New US President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to seek a "new way forward" with the Muslim world after eight rocky years under his predecessor George W. Bush, but he also warned that the United States will defeat terrorists.

In his speech upon taking office, Obama echoed campaign promises by saying the United States will "begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan."

The first black US president said "we reject the false choice between our safety and our ideals" of liberty and the rule of law, which critics worldwide say the Bush administration trampled on in its handling of the war on terror.

In a jab at the use of unilateral military force Bush used to invade Iraq in 2003, Obama said previous American generations had defeated fascism and communism with "sturdy alliances and enduring convictions" in addition to using brute military force.

These generations "knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint," Obama said.

"Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort even greater cooperation and understanding between nations," Obama declared.

"We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan," he said.

He said the United States is a mix of people of different ethnic, language and religious groups from around the world who have tried to overcome tensions and hatred among such groups.

"We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve," he said. "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," he added.

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy," he said.

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