Monday, February 15, 2010

US-Islamic World Forum begins today

13 February 2010 | DOHA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will join Qatar's Prime Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani to address the seventh edition of US-Islamic World Forum opening here today.

The three-day event, being jointly hosted by the US think- tank Brookings Institution and Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has brought together leading experts and policy makers of both the US and the Islamic world including Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke and the US Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, said Mohammed Abdullah Al Rumaihi, Assistant to the Foreign Minister to Follow-Up Affairs.

The theme of the 2010 conference would be the new American president's approach to the Muslim World exemplified in his much-debated Cairo Speech.

The new American president has endeavoured to set a new and positive tone for engagement, exemplified by his historic remarks in Cairo. We will explore how much the discourse has been translated into substantive policy recommendations and programmes, Strobe Talbott, president, The Brookings Institution, said here yesterday.

To what extend Obama succeeded in his mission will be debated at the forum. Brooking's Saban Center for Middle East Policy perceives the Cairo speech as the idea of partnership with the US and Islamic World, specifically around the idea of partnership for tangible results.

President Obama's video message will be screened at the opening session.

This year's Forum called "Writing the Next Chapter", will focus on the new opportunities created by the changing global political and economic landscape and the promise of President Obama's pledge to build new bridges with the Muslim world. The working sessions will discuss how to build on the Obama administration's "fresh start" with Muslim communities around the globe, the potential for strengthening private and public sector partnerships. The highlight of the three-day event would be the six special working groups which would be closed to the media.

Replying to a query, Al Rumaihi said Clinton will hold a series of meeting on the sidelines of the Forum.