U.S. media is reporting that a meeting was held between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and a U.S. trade delegation as well as a number of U.S. officials including a Deputy Secretary of State. The AP report described the trade delegation as “the largest ever to the Middle East” and included forty-nine U.S. corporations such as Apache, Boeing, Coca -Cola, ExxonMobil, Google, Oracle, PepsiCo and Microsoft:
Associated Press CAIRO September 9, 2012 (AP) Egypt’s Islamist leader vowed to carry out tough structural reforms to overhaul his country’s ailing economy and create a better environment for business and investment, participants in a meeting between corporate executives and the president said on Sunday. The move by Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, aimed to assuage fears that an Islamist-led economic program could dampen investment, particularly in tourism. Morsi vowed that Egypt would remain a secular state, said Ahmed Ghanim, head of biotech firm Bio Natural America Institute. Ghanim and two U.S. officials in the meeting also confirmed that Morsi went beyond previous statements he has made about adhering to Egypt’s international accords, pledging outright to over 60 U.S. delegates present that he respects his country’s landmark peace treaty with Israel. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has a decades-old enmity with neighboring Israel. The face-to-face at Cairo’s presidential palace was organized to introduce companies, many of which already have billions of dollars invested in Egypt, to the new president, who was elected in June. It is part of a four-day mission to Egypt organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The 49 companies on the trip are looking to secure their investments and expand profits under the new leadership. The meeting was also a chance for Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president and civilian to take office, to send reassuring messages that he views foreign investment as a key pillar for development and alleviating widespread poverty.
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An Egyptian media article identifies Dr. Morsi as the architect of the “Nahda” platform (the Arabic word for renaissance). A post from April discussed an important translation of a lecture on the Nahda project given by then Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat Al-Shater in April of 2011. The preface to the translation correctly characterizes the lecture as “perhaps the single most important elaboration to date of not only Al-Shater’s worldview and politics, but of the MB’s plan for the future of Egypt and the region more generally in the post-Mubarak era.” As our post explained, this is a key document to understanding the significance of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendance and unlike other Brotherhood-related documents, neither the source nor the importance of the source is in question. The lecture is quite long but is best read in its entirety. That said, it is clear from the lecture that the leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood views its entry into politics as only a stage in furtherance of its ultimate goals of Islamic government, both on an Egyptian and global basis. Despite the importance and authenticity of the lecture, it has received no attention my the media.
Dr. Morsi will be visiting the U.S. in September on his first trip since he left in 1985 after obtaining a PHD and holding a teaching position in engineering in Southern California.