President Barack Obama launched a new effort yesterday to build business and social ties to the Muslim world, but analysts say the need for progress on big issues like Middle East peace will overshadow the initiative.


Obama is hosting a two-day presidential summit on entrepreneurship that is bringing together about 250 successful business and social entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries, most with large Muslim populations, fulfilling a pledge he made in his Cairo speech to the Islamic world last June.


The president addressed the summit at the end of the first day to underscore his commitment to “deepening our engagement around the world with Muslim-majority communities,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said.