Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in high-level US talks

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by ejazr, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood in high-level US talks

    Cairo: The US State Department's number two was to sit down on Wednesday with Muslim Brotherhood party leaders, as Egypt prepared to wrap up marathon elections that propelled Islamists to the centre stage of politics.

    Washington has been reaching out to the Brotherhood in a nod to Egypt's new political reality, with Islamists poised to dominate the first parliament since a popular uprising ousted veteran president Hosni Mubarak in February.

    US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns "will meet leaders of the (Brotherhood's) Freedom and Justice Party at their headquarters in Cairo," FJP spokesman Ahmed Sobea said.

    "It will be the highest-level meeting with any official from the United States," Sobea said.

    Burns, who arrived in Cairo yesterday, met with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) which took power when Mubarak was ousted.

    He is also expected to meet other government officials, political and business leaders as well as activists.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said before the polls that the United States had pursued "limited contacts" with the Brotherhood as Washington was "re-engaging in" a six-year-old policy in light of Egypt's political changes.

    FJP deputy head Essam al-Erian held talks with Jeffrey Feltman, US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, during a recent visit to Cairo, Sobea said.

    Today's meeting comes as Egyptians voted in the final phase of staggered polls to elect a lower house of parliament.

    Egypt's two main Islamist parties have scored a crushing victory in the seats declared so far, reflecting a regional trend since Arab Spring uprisings overthrew authoritarian secular regimes.

    The FJP has claimed the lead -- securing over 35 per cent of votes for party lists -- closely followed by Al-Nur party, which represents the ultra conservative brand of Salafi Islam. Burns was not expected to meet with representatives of Al-Nur, a spokesman for the party said.

    The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the country's best organised political movement, was widely expected to triumph in the polls through its party -- the FJP.

    But the surge of Al-Nur and the strong visibility of Salafi movements have raised fears among increasingly marginalised liberals about civil liberties and religious freedom.

    The SCAF has repeatedly pointed to the elections as proof of its intention to hand the reins to a civilian government.
  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    Nothing good can come of this. There is no doubt in my mind that US DoS siding with "Arab Spring" popular uprisings against Mubarak, Gaddafi and Assad while leaving the anti-government faction in Iran to fend for itself was a serious mistake.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
    pack leader and maomao like this.

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