U.S. News

Obama wants summit with Muslim countries

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama walks through the cabin on his chartered aircraft past photographers en route to Phoenix from Denver January 30, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed

PARIS (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told a French magazine in an interview that if he wins office, he will hold a summit with Muslim countries to better the United States’ image in the world.

“Once I’m elected, I want to organize a summit in the Muslim world, with all the heads of state, to have an honest discussion about ways to bridge the gap that grows every day between Muslims and the West,” Thursday’s edition of Paris Match quoted Obama as saying,

“I want to ask them to join our fight against terrorism. We must also listen to their concerns,” Obama said in the French-language transcript.

The Illinois senator is running neck-and-neck against senator Hillary Clinton from New York to lead the Democratic ticket in November’s presidential election.

Surveys around the world show high levels of anti-Americanism in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Negative opinions are strongest in the Muslim world, according to the Pew Research Center.

Reporting by Brian Rohan