U.S. President Barack Obama will make a speech to the Muslim world in the wake of the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser at the White House, told the Journal that the President will probably deliver the speech just before he leaves for a five-day state visit to Europe on May 23.
The speech will reportedly cover a wide range of subjects and also emphasize that al-Qaeda is losing its vitality and relevance in the Muslim world; and that the revolts being witnessed across the Arab nations represent the real future.
“It’s an interesting coincidence of timing – that [bin Laden] is killed at the same time that you have a model emerging in the region of change that is completely the opposite of bin Laden’s model,” Rhodes told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, in another attempt with ease strained relations with another Muslim country, U.S. Senator John Kerry will travel to Pakistan this week to discuss the post-bin Laden landscape with senior government officials.
Kerry, a leading Democrat who is close to Obama, said he will see “all the main players in Islamabad.
A number of people suggested it would be good to get a dialogue going about the aftermath and how we get on the right track,” said Kerry, who is also chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Relations between the allies have become severely strained – perhaps irrevocably so – after a US commando raid in northern Pakistan found and killed bin Laden. This discovery of the former al Qaeda terror chief living undisturbed and undetected in a luxury compound near Islamabad has raised grave suspicions about Pakistani security and intelligence networks and where their true loyalties lie.
With bin Laden in their midst all these years, the Pakistani government was either incompetent in finding bin Laden or complicit in harboring him.
There are some serious questions, obviously, there are some serious issues that that we've just got to find a way to resolve together, Kerry told reporters.
Our interests and their interests I think are well served by working through those difficulties.
Kerry will also make a stop in Afghanistan during his journey.