Washington: US President Barack Obama
will deliver a speech reaching out to the Muslim world, in the
aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden and amid ongoing
unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, the Wall Street
Journal reported Wednesday.
Obama is preparing a wide-ranging address to be
delivered as early as next week in which he`ll make the case
that bin Laden`s death, paired with popular uprisings sweeping
the region, underscores the US view that the al Qaeda
extremist group is a spent force in the Muslim world.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser at the
White House, told the newspaper that the speech was likely to
be delivered before Obama departs on a five-day trip to Europe
on May 23 -- not quite three weeks after bin Laden`s demise in
a US commando raid in Pakistan.
"It`s an interesting coincidence of timing -- that he
is killed at the same time that you have a model emerging in
the region of change that is completely the opposite of bin
Laden`s model," Rhodes told the newspaper.
Officials said that the president will make the case
that bin Laden represented a failed approach of the past while
populist movements brewing in the Middle East and North Africa
represent the future.
The president has stressed outreach to Muslims during
his tenure in the White House, and plans to describe the
Islamic world as at a crossroads, US officials told the
The speech comes at a time of great tumult throughout
the Muslim world, with popular uprisings overthrowing longtime
dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, and unrest threatening
governments in Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen and Jordan.