Global media is reporting that the Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, has said that she will speak with all representatives of the Egyptian opposition including the Muslim Brotherhood when she travels to Egypt. According to an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel:
SPIEGEL: When will you travel to Egypt?
Ashton: As soon as possible. The Egyptian government has asked that no foreign politicians visit the country at this time. I don’t want to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs, but I do want to offer assistance.
SPIEGEL: Will you also help representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood?
Ashton: I will speak with all representatives of the opposition. The success of the elections depends on their being supported by the entire society. Everyone, including the Muslim Brothers, must be involved in this process, whether or not we agree with them.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood today has become a global network and that the Egyptian mother branch is not necessarily the most important part of the movement. Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, is often referred to by the GMBDW as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide.