U.S. Officials Meet With Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Leader At Party Headquarters


The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website has reported that its Vice-Chairman Dr. Essam El-Erian met with two U.S. government representatives at the Party headquarters on Monday. According to the report:

Vice Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Dr. Essam El-Erian, received at the party headquarters on Monday, Jacob Wells (a representative from the US State Department’s Near East office), and  Peter Chi, (under-secretary for economic and political affairs at the  American Embassy in Cairo.) El-Erian stated that the FJP recognizes the US role in the region and the world. He expressed his hopes that the US would begin to listen to the voice of the Arab people and respect their wishes in building strong Arab democratic systems. “The Arab people wish to establish democratic states inspired by the Arab and Islamic cultures advocating religious values, ??and adding a new example to democratic systems in the world”, he stated. He called on the US to respect the people’s choice in free and fair elections, and to cooperate with the new democratically elected Arab governments. El-Erian stressed: “Democracy means peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region. This is in the best interests of the whole world”. For his part, Jacob Wells stated that the US administration was reviewing its former stances. The US respects the Arab people’s desire to build a democratic system, he said, and it is significant that the rights and freedoms of all including women and minorities be protected. El-Erian explained that Egypt’s citizens live in equality. “We believe that no citizen should be treated differently or regarded a minority. History has proven that mutual respect, tolerance, coexistence and compassion between the people have always been present. Any tensions were a result of unordinary circumstances”, he said. Ending the meeting, El-Erian emphasized that the U.S. administration should support the Palestinian rights, and respect the will of the Palestinian people to secure a free and independent State. “The US should do what’s morally correct and condemn the repeated attacks and arrests of the Palestinians, by the Israeli occupation forces,” he added.

An October post reported what was described as the first ever official meeting of U.S. officials with members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, Egyptian media reported on remarks made by Dr. El-Erian at a recent conference and translated here:

At a conference attended by some 5,000, Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, Dr. Essam el-Erian, Vice President of the “Freedom and Justice” party, the Brotherhood’s political wing, declared that “No one in Egypt—not a Copt, a liberal, a leftist, no one—dares say they are against Islam and the application of Sharia: all say they want the Islamic Sharia [applied]. And when referendum time comes, whoever says ‘we do not want Sharia’ will expose their hidden intentions.” He went on to threaten Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces with “massacres” if it interfered in politics and Islam’s role in the constitution and addressed the nation’s Coptic Christians as follows: “You will never find a strong fortress for your faith and rights except in Islam and Sharia,” adding, “Our Lord has commanded us to be just, and we have learned it from Islam. We do not wish to hurt anyone…”

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