July 7, 2011

ROMEO AND WHO?:

The States and the Brotherhood: With dialogue between the US and the Muslim Brotherhood now out in the open, observers are keenly awaiting what the future may bring (Amani Maged, 7/06/11, Al-Ahram)

It's no longer a secret that the Americans and the Muslim Brotherhood are talking. The Muslim Brothers don't even bother to deny it. After the revolution, everything is possible, and all the cards are on the table. "The game's out in the open," as the Egyptian saying goes. So, political observers were not surprised by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement of US dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood. They described it as a move to regularise already existing communications and a gesture of support for a group that the US has chosen to talk to out of all other groups.

The US has been holding talks with the Muslim Brotherhood for years, albeit in the context of discussions with the 2005 Egyptian parliament, in which Brotherhood members had a significant presence. Brotherhood deputy chairman Kheirat El-Shater made no attempt to conceal the fact that he had met with the Americans during that time. In fact, he regarded the meetings as perfectly normal, having taken place in full view of the authorities of the previous regime, in spite of the buzz of insinuations about them in the press.

According to Sobhi Saleh, a prominent Brotherhood member, the recent American move to bring the talks out into the open was in part intended to do away with the Muslim Brotherhood bogeyman that the previous regime had concocted.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at July 7, 2011 5:38 AM
  
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