Islamist media is reporting that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi met with a delegation from the US State Department last Friday in order to discuss both Tunisia and the situation in Libya.. According to the Middle East Monitor report:
April 13, 2015 The Tunisian Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement has revealed that its president, Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi, met with a delegation from the US state department last Friday. The agenda for the meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken included the current situation in Tunisia and the possibility of supporting dialogue between the conflicting parties in Libya.
According to Ennahda’s media department, Mr Blinken expressed his appreciation of the Tunisian experiment in compatibility and democratic transition as well as the role of the Renaissance Movement and its leader in the success of this transition. He said that the United States is willing to help Tunisia in its efforts to consolidate democracy and support the development of the country.
With regards to Libya, the US official stressed the importance of successful dialogue in Libya and the significance of reaching peaceful solutions between the parties involved. This should lead to the establishment of a national unity government on the basis of compatibility and coexistence, added Blinken.
The meeting was also attended by Rafik Abd Al-Salam, Hussein Al-Jaziri and Lotfi Zaytone from Ennahda and the US Ambassador in Tunis, Jacob Walles.
Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi is one Islamic leader who has maintained dialogue with the West in general and with the United States in particular. His vision in dealing with the political protests that followed the Arab Spring has received approbation in many Western and international political institutions, and he is known as a symbol of political consensus in Tunisia.
The GMBDW reported in October 2014 that Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Ennahda Party and a close associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, had visited the US where he was invited to speak at Yale and Columbia Universities as well as at the US Institute of Peace (USIP).
Mr. Ghannouchi has a long history of ties to Palestinian extremism and calls for terrorism and which recently have included:
- The GMBDW reported in March that Ghannouchi had made comments in which he has said that the “Islamic Nation” will not be free until Palestine is “liberated.”
- In May 2013, we reported that Mr. Ghannouchi had called for young people to realize that “Jihad belongs in Palestine.”
- In 2011, Mr. Ghannouchi gave an Arabic-language interview in which he predicted the end of Israel,
- In February 2009, Mr. Ghannouchi was a signatory to the so-called Istanbul declaration that called for the opening of a “third jihadist front” against Israel. The statement was the result of a conference held under the auspices of the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (GAAC), an international Islamist umbrella group comprised of Islamist scholars tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood as well as Salafi-Jihadi scholars including individuals designated as terrorists by the US government.
For a profile on Rachid Ghannouchi, go here.
For a profile on the Ennahda Party and its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, go here.