Much international reaction to President Barack Obama's call for a "new beginning" in U.S. ties with the Muslim world has been cautiously positive -- even from some traditional U.S. rivals, such as the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Religious leaders at Al-Azhar, the ancient Islamic university that co-sponsored the president's address, welcomed his remarks as a sign "of a promising new era in relations" that "paves the way for real dialogue among civilizations, rather than conflict."
Some in the Middle East are welcoming what they call Mr. Obama's frank talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdeneh called it "an important step" and "a good start" toward a new U.S. policy in the Middle East. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it represents "tangible change" from the approach of the previous administration.
The Israeli government issued a statement saying Israel shares "President Obama's hope that the American effort heralds the opening of a new era that will bring an end to the conflict."
But Israeli settlers in the West Bank, whose outposts the president criticized in the speech, called the U.S. president "naive" and "out of touch." The Israeli government statement made no reference to the settlements.
News agencies quoted officials and analysts from Iran saying the address represents a new tone from the United States.
But lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah from the Lebanese group Hezbollah said the Islamic world needs action, not lectures or sermons.
Several Pakistani students told VOA they found the speech impressive but would be more impressed by concrete changes in some U.S. policies. Pakistan's Foreign Office told VOA (Urdu service) it was "very encouraging" and could be a significant step toward bridging the gap between the Islamic world and the West.
On her Twitter account, Jordan's Queen Rania said Mr. Obama's words were "genuine and thoughtful," and she called the speech a "much-needed change in tone."
A U.N. spokeswoman said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "strongly encouraged" and believes the Cairo speech "is a crucial step in bridging divides."
The overwhelming majority of comments posted on the White House Facebook page were positive, with respondents from around the world using words like "amazing," "awesome" and "brilliant." One man, Ahmed Elamrani, who said he was a Muslim from Morocco, said he "found Obama's speech great and full of hope" but added that he will "wait for actions."
The head of the Washington-based U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project, Rob Fersh, told VOA the president "hit exactly the right tone" regarding changes that need to be made to improve relations.