Barack Obama wrapped up his first foreign trip as president with a request of the world: Look past his nation's stereotypes and flaws. "You will find a partner and a friend in the United States of America," he declared today in a town hall meeting with Turkish students. Obama rejected perceptions that the US has grown selfish and crass, saying, "I'm here to tell you that's not the country I know and not the country I love."
Opening the gathering in Istanbul, the president said he considered reaching out to young people "the best hope for a peaceful, prosperous future." He said he knows there are "stereotypes out there,” but he wants to improve America's global dialogue, promising a “new chapter in American engagement.” “America, like every other nation, has made mistakes and has its flaws,” he said. “But for more than two centuries,” the US has sought a more perfect union.