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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama won lavish praise from his Egyptian counterpart on Tuesday and spoke of an "extraordinary opportunity" for making peace in the Middle East, saying he was encouraged by U.S. efforts to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Seated next to President Hosni Mubarak, who was making his first visit to the U.S. capital in five years, Obama thanked his Egyptian counterpart for joining him in trying to construct a deal that has eluded world leaders for more than six decades.
Returning the compliment, Mubarak asserted that Obama's speech to the Muslim world - delivered in Cairo earlier this summer - had convinced Arabs the United States truly was an honest broker.
The 81-year-old Egyptian leader, who was estranged from the Bush administration, said Obama had "removed all doubts about the United States and the Muslim world."
Mubarak said, "The Islamic world had thought that the U.S. was against Islam, but his (Obama's) great, fantastic address there has removed all those doubts."