Amman – Jordanian Islamists on Wednesday expressed cautious “optimism” over the policies the new US president Barack Obama was expected to pursue towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, but said the test would be how he was going to behave on the ground.
“We have optimism that Obama will come up with real changes and honour the promises in this respect he had made during his election campaign and in his inaugural speech,” Zaki Banir Ershaid, Secretary General of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
“The real test for the changes Obama is going to make will be the Palestinian question – is he going to dissociate himself from the blind bias the Bush and the previous US administrations used to show for Israel’s aggression, terrorism and crimes, the latest of which was the Gaza massacre,” Bani Ershaid said.
The IAF chief also cited any steps to be taken by Obama to help the Arab and Islamic worlds to get rid of their “corrupt and despotic” regimes as an indication of “translating promises into facts on the ground”.
Bani Ershaid revealed that he sent a message on Wednesday to Obama through the US embassy in Amman setting forth what the peoples of the region expected from the new US president.
“Obama spoke in his inaugural speech Tuesday about forging good ties with the Islamic world and I say the shortest way for achieving this is opening dialogue with all powers which represent peoples in the region and not only with governments,” he said.
“I think starting real dialogue among faiths, civilizations and cultures is the best way to achieve this goal,” he added.
The IAF, the political arm of the influential Muslim Brotherhood movement, is Jordan’s largest parliamentary political party. (dpa)