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Obama announces new venture with Muslim world.

Washington, April 28 -- In a decisive push to his plan to reach out to the Muslim world, first outlined in his Cairo address last year, US President Barack Obama has announced a series of business and education exchange programmes to actively involve the Muslim community in many countries. "The new beginning we seek is not only possible, it has already begun," he said, hosting a Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship here that is being attended by Muslim business leaders from nearly 60 countries, including India.

Outlining a host of exchange programmes in entrepreneurship and education, he said the US would bring business and social entrepreneurs from Muslim-majority countries America and then send out Americans to learn from your countries.

"So women in technology fields will have the opportunity to come to the United States for internships and professional development. And since innovation is central to entrepreneurship, we're creating new exchanges for science teachers," he said.

New partnerships will be forged under which high-tech leaders from Silicon Valley will share their expertise in venture capital and mentorship with partners in the Middle East and in Turkey and in Southeast Asia.

"And tonight, I can report that the Global Technology and Innovation Fund that I announced in Cairo will potentially mobilise more than $2 billion in investments," he said, adding: "This is private capital, and it will unlock new opportunities for people across our countries in sectors like telecommunications, healthcare, education, and infrastructure."

"I'm proud that we're creating here at this summit not only these programmes that I've just mentioned, but it's not going to stop here. Together, we've sparked a new era of entrepreneurship - with events all over Washington this week, and upcoming regional conferences around the world," he said.

Obama also announced that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has agreed to host the next Entrepreneurship Summit in his country next year, saying that would help sustain the momentum being unleashed.

"It exists within each of you, and millions around the world who believe, like we do, that the future belongs not to those who would divide us, but to those who come together; not to those who would destroy, but those who would build; not those trapped in the past, but those who, like us, believe with confidence and conviction in a future of justice and progress and the dignity of all human beings regardless of their race, regardless of their religion," he noted in his address to over 250 delegates.

India is being represented by a six-member group - Irfan Alam, Shahnaz Husain, Ramachandra Kavil, Shaffi Mather, Shaheen Mistri and Sirajuddin Qureshi, who have all been selected for "their innovative ideas and ability to promote entrepreneurship, commitment to community service amongst other parameters".

"You bring with you the rich tapestry of the world's great traditions and great cultures. You carry within you the beauty of different colours and creeds, races and religions. You're visionaries who pioneered new industries and young entrepreneurs looking to build a business or a community," Obama said as he set the tone for the two-day summit.

While alluding to the mutual distrust that have marked relations between the US and the Muslim communities around the world, Obama said: "That's why I went to Cairo nearly one year ago and called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities - a new beginning based on mutual interest and mutual respect. I knew that this vision would not be fulfilled in a single year, or even several years. But I knew we had to begin and that all of us have responsibilities to fulfill."

He said the US was responsibly ending the war in Iraq, and partnering with Iraqi people for their long-term prosperity and security, while in Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond, it was not only "forging new partnerships to isolate violent extremists, but also to combat corruption and foster the development that improves lives and communities".

On the West Asia situation, he said that despite the inevitable difficulties, the US would never waver in its pursuit of a two-state solution that ensures the rights and security of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Pioneer. For more information on news feed please contact Sarabjit Jagirdar at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

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Publication:The Pioneer (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Apr 28, 2010
Words:719
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