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Obama Says US Wants to Mend Ties With Muslim World

President Barack Obama has declared that the United States is not at war with Islam.

The president received rousing applause from Turkish lawmakers in Ankara Monday as he appealed for cooperation with the Muslim world.

Speaking to parliament, Mr. Obama acknowledged that in recent years, Washington's ties have been strained with Turkey and many other places where Islam is practiced.

Anti-American sentiment surged under former President George W. Bush, and some security experts say the Bush administration's treatment of terrorist suspects, as well as the war in Iraq, helped recruit new jihadists.

On Monday, Mr. Obama said the United States sees partnership with the Muslim world as critical in rolling back a fringe ideology - extremism - that people of all faiths reject.

The American president said partnership with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based simply on opposition to al-Qaida.

Mr. Obama said Washington seeks broad engagement with Muslims, based on mutual interests and respect. Over many centuries, he noted, the Islamic faith has helped shape the world for the better, and that the United States has been enriched by Muslim-Americans.

He also pointed out that he is one of many Americans who have Muslims in their families, or who have lived in a Muslim-majority country. Mr. Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, and some of his Kenyan relatives are Muslim.

The president is expected to briefly attend a United Nations conference Turkey is hosting this week to promote inter-cultural understanding.

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami also will be joining the "Alliance of Civilizations" conference, raising speculation in the Iranian media that he may meet Mr. Obama. The U.S. has not commented on the possibility.