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Obama takes oath, calls for unity, engagement


08:39, January 22, 2013

Key Words: Barack Obama;oath;inauguration;second term;Washington D.C.;Capitol;

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday took oath for his second term in a public inauguration ceremony at the Capitol grounds, reaffirming America's founding principles in a call for unity and a vow for more engagement in foreign affairs.

Obama made the calls in his inaugural address. He said the founding values of America have never been "self-executing", calling on the country to "bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time."

In a call for unity, Obama said: "Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people."


The president, emboldened by his success in the presidential election last year, in which he roundly beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney, emphasized a balanced approach in his second term.

He promised to tackle public debt and federal deficit in a balanced way, and strengthen the social security network. He vowed to "harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools."

"We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future," said Obama.

In reference to immigration reform and gun control, two main tasks in his second term, the president said he will strive to " find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity," as well as ensuring children are "cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. "

"A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun, " Obama said. "We have always understood that when times change, so must we."

Obama also mentioned gay rights for the first time in an inaugural address, and devoted an important portion of his speech to climate change.

Mapping out his foreign policy for the next four years, Obama said: "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war...We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully, not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear."

He also assured allies that the United States will "remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe," while promising the country "will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

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