BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Planning To Meet Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Leaders


Global media is reporting that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns was planning to meet leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in what was described by a Brotherhood spokesman as “the highest-level meeting with any official from the United States.” According to an AFP report:

(AFP) – 7 hours ago  CAIRO — The US State Department’s number two was to sit down 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 told AFP.”It will be the highest-level meeting with any official from the United States,” Sobea said.Burns, who arrived in Cairo late on Tuesday, 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.Wednesday’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.

A previous post discussed a New York Times article titled “U.S. Reverses Policy In Reaching Out to Muslim Brotherhood” which stated that the U.S. position is based on the administration’s “growing acceptance of the Brotherhood’s repeated assurances that its lawmakers want to build a modern democracy that will respect individual freedoms, free markets and international commitments, including Egypt’s treaty with Israel.” A post from yesterday discussed the conflicting statements by leaders of the EgyptianBrotherhood about the Egypt/Israel peace treaty.


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