In Naming Islamic Conference Envoy, Obama Highlights Global Health, Food Security Efforts

During a video address to the 7th U.S.-Islamic World Forum meeting in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, President Barack Obama appointed Rashad Hussain, deputy associate White House counsel, to serve as Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Associated Press reports. As the president’s liaison to the OIC, Obama “said Hussain will continue working to repair U.S.-Islamic relations and develop the types of partnerships Obama called for when he addressed the Muslim world during a speech last year in Cairo. … Obama recounted efforts by his administration to foster partnerships with Muslims on education, economic development, global health, and science and technology,” the news service writes (Superville, 2/14).

“Since the president’s speech to the Muslim world, the U.S. has worked with the OIC on eradicating polio,” Politico reports. “Polio remains endemic in three Muslim-majority countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan – and in India, where it disproportionately affects Muslim communities” (Allen/Rozen, 2/13).

“[W]e’re partnering to promote global health,” Obama said during his address, which was posted online by the White House. “We worked together to address H1N1, which was a concern of many Muslims during the hajj. … And as part of our increased commitment to foreign assistance, we’ve launched major initiatives to promote global health and food security around the world” (2/13).

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