On the eve of Ramadan, US President Barack Obama said he wanted to build a new partnership between the US and Muslims around the world.
He said US efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan were in keeping with the US commitment to a more secure world.
The timing of Ramadan varies according to the first sighting of the New Moon.
The ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Ramadan marks the time more than 1,400 years ago when the first words of Islam's holy book, the Koran, are believed to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
During this month, the gates of heaven are said to open and the gates of hell are closed.
The world's estimated one billion observant Muslims will abstain from food, smoking and sex during the daylight hours and hold extra prayers at night.
Ramadan ends with the first sighting of the new moon and culminates in the three-day festival of fast-breaking - Eid-ul-Fitr.
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