The choice of Cairo signals that President Obama's eagerly anticipated speech to Muslims is gradually morphing into a speech to Arabs. Improving relations with Muslims is important. But when it comes to U.S. strategic interests, the more urgent item on the agenda is creating a strong coalition with Arab countries.

World Citizen: Obama's Cairo Speech and the 57-State Solution

By , , Column

When President Barack Obama finally announced the location of his much-heralded speech to the Muslim world, the news came as a surprise. As a candidate, Obama had promised to give such an address during his first 100 days in office, as part of an urgent campaign to repair relations between the United States and Muslims.

Observers wondered where Obama would go for the potentially historic occasion. Many believed the U.S. president would choose a democratic, Muslim-majority country for the event. Favorites included Jakarta, where Obama lived as a child. Turkey, a U.S. ally, also seemed like a good choice. Even Morocco, one of the more open Arab countries, was considered a longshot. ...

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