Tunisian media is reporting that Radwan Masmoudi, a leader in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has lost his bid to become the Tunisian ambassador to the U.S. According to the Tunisia Live report:
The sitting Tunisian ambassador to the African Union, Mokhtar Chaouachi, has been nominated as the next ambassador of Tunisia to the U.S. This will not be his first U.S. experience as he was counselor of the Permanent Mission of Tunisia at the United Nations in New York city from 1993 to 2002. The nomination of Tunisia’s ambassador to Washington was subject to a long negotiation within Tunisia’s governing Troïka coalition. Radwan Masmoudi, founder and president of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, was Ennahdha’s party’s choice and backed by Ettakatol party as well. Masmoudi’s nomination was vetoed nevertheless by President Moncef Marzouki. The CPR party to which Marzouki belongs seemed to favor a career diplomat rather than a political or independent figure for the ambassadorial position in Washington. ‘I heard that the ruling Troïka reached an agreement over nominating Tunisia’s current ambassador to Ethiopia. I know that it is President Marzouki, who insisted that the appointment of Tunisia’s ambassador to the United States not be political,’ said Masmoudi over a phone interview with Tunisia Live. Masmoudi explained that 15% of diplomatic appointments are generally political, especially in countries with which Tunisia has strategic partnerships. ‘For instance, the Tunisian ambassador to France is a member of Ettakatol party because France is one of Tunisia’s most important partners. The same thing should have happened in the case of the United States with which we have major interests,’ he added. ‘But what I heard is that Marzouki took a firm stand and insisted on appointing a diplomat and not a political figure,’ concluded Masmoudi. Chaouachi (L) stands with his colleagues In reaction to his appointment, Ambassador Chaouachi told Tunisia Live, ‘I am proud to be nominated to serve the new Tunisia in Washington. We have a long friendship with the people of the United States, and we cherish similar values, such as democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.’ Ambassador Chaouachi is known by his colleagues at the African Union to be a sophisticated, warm, elegant, and hard-working diplomat. He is a man of dialogue and responsive to the needs of his colleagues. ‘I dedicated my life to diplomacy, and I am passionate about my job every single day,’ said Chaouachi.
A post from last August reported that Radwan Masmoudi, the founder and President of Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), was being considered for the post of Tunisian ambassador to the U.S. In the report discussed in that post, Masmoudi also acknowledges for the first time that he has been a part of the Enahda movement since the 1980’s. A post from November 2011 reviewed the evidence linking the Ennahda (aka Nahda) Party to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) was founded in 1998 largely by the efforts of Georgetown University academic Dr. Esposito who during the 1990’s served in the State Department as a “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Many members of the early CSID board were associated with IIIT, the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). For example, past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with IIIT and both important leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace.