Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement regarding President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt today:

“The President’s trip to the Middle East this week and speech in Cairo today highlight the Administration’s new direction in U.S. relations with the Middle East. Since taking office in January, the President and his Administration have reached out to the Middle East in a way that stresses mutual respect and common interests. This new face of American diplomacy is a welcomed and much needed change in approach.

 “Many of America’s critical national security goals – from addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear ambitions to defeating Al-Qaeda and pushing back against extremism – will be well-served by this active diplomatic leadership. The new face of American diplomacy will undermine the message of violent extremist who seek to paint the United States as an enemy of the Arab world, not a partner.

 “I applaud the President for his efforts to reach out to the Arab world in a respectful and constructive manner. We face many difficult challenges in the Middle East, and the Administration is mindful of this fact. The road to solving these problems starts with respectful, constructive dialogue.”