In an image made from a video provided by Al-Arabiya, U.S. President Barack Obama is interviewed in Washington by Dubai-based Al-Arabiya cable network Monday Jan. 26, 2009.
CTV.ca | Obama chooses Arab network for first TV interview
CAIRO, Egypt -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president, delivering a message to the Muslim world that "Americans are not your enemy."Quote has been trimmed
The interview underscored Obama's commitment to repair relations with the Muslim world that have suffered under the previous administration.
The president expressed an intention to engage the Middle East immediately and his new envoy to the region, former Sen. George J. Mitchell, was expected to arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for a visit that will also take him to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy," Obama told the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel.
Obama said the U.S. had made mistakes in the past but "that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that."