Perhaps Obama's most-discussed early trip was his visit to Cairo in June 2004 to give a speech to the Muslim world, fulfilling a pledge made during his campaign. The speech, titled "A New Beginning," was a call for the United States and the Muslim world to improve relations, with the president stating: "I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition." At the time, Egyptians across the social spectrum hailed Obama's historic speech, but critics today say that he has not lived up to his lofty language, accusing him of saber-rattling with Iran and backing away from the Middle East peace process, among other charges.
Above, an Egyptian man applauds as he listens to to the speech at a coffee shop in Cairo on June 4, 2009.
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