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‘Want to create a million young Barack Obamas’

President Barack Obama delivers an address to the nation on the U.S. Counterterrorism strategy to combat ISIL, in the Cross Hall of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Tokyo [Japan]: Former US President Barack Obama on Sunday reiterated that he wanted to create “a million young Barack Obamas” to take on the baton of “human progress”, in what was seen as an effort to develop the “next generation.”

He underscored that his nonprofit the Obama Foundation could create a “platform for young and upcoming coming leaders” to exchange information with each other about projects they were working on, The Guardian reported.

“If I could do that effectively, then – you know – I would create a hundred or a thousand or a million young Barack Obamas or Michelle Obamas. Or, the next group of people who could take that baton in that relay race that is human progress,” Obama told a non-profit conference in Tokyo.

The former US President also praised the potential of the students participating in the “March for Our Lives” rally, adding that the change was needed to stop gun violence in the country.

“This was all because of the courage and effort of a handful of 15- and 16-year-olds, who took the responsibility that so often adults had failed to take in trying to find a solution to this problem, and I think that’s a testimony to what happens when young people are given opportunities, and I think all institutions have to think about how do we tap into that creativity and that energy and that drive,” Obama stated.

Thousands of people, primarily students flooded the Pennsylvania Avenue in the American capital for the “March for Our Lives” on March 24 to support tougher gun controls, in the wake of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, which claimed 17 lives.

Many Hollywood celebrities also lent their support to the students and had participated in the movement.

On Twitter, Obama and his wife Michelle wrote in support of the anti-gun violence rally on March 24.

“Michelle and I are so inspired by all the young people who made today’s marches happen. Keep at it. You’re leading us forward. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.” Donald Trump has yet to comment personally on the marches, although the White House praised the demonstrators for exercising their right to free speech,” Obama wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Commenting on the denuclearisation negotiation with North Korea, Obama said that it would be “difficult” because “the country’s isolation meant other countries had little leverage over it.”

“North Korea is an example of a country that is so far out of the international norms and so disconnected with the rest of the world. It is a huge threat,” he added.

Obama was on a week-long four-nation trip in the past week, where he first visited Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and then Japan, before returning back to the US on Sunday.

The former US President has taken a cautious approach about criticising his successor Donald Trump, although he has made an exception for issues such as the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries and Trump’s heavily criticised remarks equating neo-Nazis with the protesters opposing them in Charlottesville in Virginia. (ANI)

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