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Egyptian Dissident: Obama's Speech Should Address Terrorism

A well-known Egyptian dissident says he expects U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim community to address the importance of fighting terrorism around the world.

In an interview with VOA, Ayman Nour, who ran against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, says without addressing freedom and democracy, it will be hard to counter terrorism and extremism, to reform the international system, or to end conflict in the Middle East.

He says Muslim countries are among those who have paid a high price from terrorism.

Nour spent four years in prison before being released in February. He was arrested months after placing a distant second to President Mubarak in the country's first multi-candidate presidential election in 2005.

Nour told VOA he plans to run again in Egypt's next presidential election.

President Obama will make his speech Thursday to the Muslim world at Cairo University in Egypt. He is expected to also address the Middle East peace process and issues of religious extremism and violence.

Nour's imprisonment strained relations between Egypt and the United States. After his conviction, the White House was sharply critical of his detention, as were Democratic Party leaders in Congress.