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Obama heads for Mideast in Muslim outreach effort

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama heads for Saudi Arabia
today on his latest mission to improve battered ties with the
Muslim world.
He'll meet with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyahd at the start of
the six-day, four-country trip. It's his second meeting with the
king in three months. The two leaders are expected to discuss
issues, including rising oil prices and Saudi concerns that Iran
may be secretly developing a nuclear bomb.
From there he'll head to Egypt, where he'll make a long-promised
and much anticipated speech, extending a hand of friendship to the
world's 1.5 billion Muslims. While expectations are high, White
House aides caution that many Muslims have felt scorned by the U.S.
for years, and one speech will not suddenly lift that cloud.
Analysts say he'll find a hopeful audience but, given
Washington's support of Israel and the invasions of Iraq and
Afghanistan, a skeptical one as well.


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