Obama Ends Turkey Visit

Istanbul, Turkey (RPRN) 7 April 2009- U.S. President Barack Obama ended his two-day visit to Turkey with a town hall meeting with college students where he promised a new chapter in American engagement with Muslims and the rest of the world.

Mr. Obama called for a greater understanding among nations, and he repeated a pledge to rebuild relations between the United States and the Muslim world. He said the United States, like every other nation, has made mistakes. Mr. Obama said it will take time for the world to see how he is leading America in a different direction than former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Mr. Obama’s final day in Turkey included a meeting with the country’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders. Later, he visited Turkey’s historical Hagia Sophia museum and the Blue Mosque.

During an address to Turkish lawmakers Monday, Mr. Obama said the predominantly Muslim country is not where East and West divide, it is where they come together. He expressed strong support for Turkey’s bid to become a European Union member, calling Ankara a “responsible partner.”

Turkey is the final stop on Mr. Obama’s European tour, which included an economic summit in London last week, NATO meetings in France and Germany, and an EU-U.S. summit in the Czech Republic.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.