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Obama's first formal interview to Al Arabiya

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From Ben Smith at Politico:

President Barack Obama presented a humble and conciliatory face of America to the Islamic world Monday in the first formal interview since he assumed office, stressing his own Muslim ties and shying away from any hint of belligerence even when asked if he could “live with” an Iranian nuclear weapon.

The interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya Network was a dramatic piece of public diplomacy aimed at capitalizing on the new American president’s international popularity.

“I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries,” Obama said, according to a White House transcript. “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.”

Obama’s dramatic shift Monday was one of tone, not of policy, and he also affirmed America’s support for Israel.

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