Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Archive > MB in International press
U.S. engages Muslim Brotherhood despite Rice
U.S. engages Muslim Brotherhood despite Rice
U.S. Embassy officials said they are acting in conformity with a worldwide policy of dealing with political parties that are represented in their national parliaments. Muslim Brotherhood members can only run for Egypt’s parliament as independents, and U.S. officials say they have met them only in that capacity."Our rare contacts with the nominally independent members of parliament have occurred only in the full light of day, with many other Egyptians present, including members from the
Thursday, November 15,2007 09:27
by Nicholas Kralev Washington times
The United States has resumed contacts with Egypt"s Muslim Brotherhood despite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice"s 2005 commitment not to "engage" with the banned group — a move that could strain relations with President Hosni Mubarak"s government.

U.S. Embassy officials said they are acting in conformity with a worldwide policy of dealing with political parties that are represented in their national parliaments. Muslim Brotherhood members can only run for Egypt"s parliament as independents, and U.S. officials say they have met them only in that capacity."Our rare contacts with the nominally independent members of parliament have occurred only in the full light of day, with many other Egyptians present, including members from the ruling National Democratic Party," said Francis J. Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt.

Asked whether the dealings were approved by Miss Rice, who ruled out such contacts in June 2005, Mr. Ricciardone said: "Of course, we report fully to Washington on these contacts."

An Egyptian official said that, even though the Muslim Brotherhood is illegal, foreign diplomats may meet with parliamentarians, regardless of their affiliation.

Officially, those politicians represent their constituents, not the Muslim Brotherhood, he said.

The government does not have a blanket policy for contacts between members of parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood and foreign diplomats, the official said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, which includes Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon"s Hezbollah — both represented in their respective parliaments.

But Mr. Mubarak"s government insists the Muslim Brotherhood, part of an international Sunni Islamist movement founded in 1928, represents a terrorist threat to the state and its citizens. Members of the group have been brought before military courts — a move ruled illegal by civilian courts.

"Any state can most effectively combat wrong ideas, and even dangerously wrong and offensive ideas — provided such ideas are advanced through lawful, nonviolent activities — through means other than arrest, trial and imprisonment," Mr. Ricciardone said.

Regular contacts between U.S. Embassy officials and the Muslim Brotherhood date back to the rule of President Anwar Sadat during the 1970s. Although the group has been illegal since 1954, it was tolerated by various governments until Mr. Mubarak took power.

Mr. Ricciardone recalled that, as a low-level embassy official in the late 1980s, he made "occasional visits" to the group"s headquarters in downtown Cairo. Contacts were discontinued after September 11, 2001, when the group "indicated to us that they had no desire to continue such contacts," he said.

In June 2005, Miss Rice said in Cairo that the United States "won"t" engage with the Muslim Brotherhood, but contacts resumed again last year.


 

"Any such contacts do not imply American endorsement of the views of the individual parliamentarians or their political affiliates," said Mr. Ricciardone, a career diplomat of nearly 30 years.

Mohamed Habib, first deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the group meets with U.S. Embassy officials only during visits to Egypt by members of Congress. In order for the group to meet with representatives of the executive branch, it needs permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said.

"Parliamentarians can meet with senators," Mr. Habib said in an interview. "But we have no contacts, nor do we want to have contacts, with the administration. We"d like many things to change before that can happen."

He referred to the administration"s policies in the Middle East and toward Muslims in general, citing the war in Iraq and U.S. support for Arab authoritarian regimes, including those of Mr. Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah.

At the top of his list of complaints, however, is the Palestinian issue. The Muslim Brotherhood"s ideology is similar to that of Hamas, though it denounces violence as a means of achieving political goals.


Posted in MB in International press , Reform Issues , MB and West  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
Habib on MB Party Program, Dialogue with West
Looking for Moderate Islamists
Engaging Hamas and Hezbollah
A question of moderation
Letters: Engaging the Muslim Brotherhood
Doing dialogue in Cairo
A Peace-maker behind Bars
Congregation for Reform Chief: Saleh’s Call for Dialogue not Serious
The moderate behind bars
Do not undermine moderate Islamists: The case of Muslim Brotherhood leader, Khayrat El-Shater
Engaged to Hamas
Islamic party courts election victory in moderate Morocco
To Engage or Not to Engage?
Darfur: colonised by ‘peacekeepers’
For Democratic Change, Deal with Moderate Islamists
The West and Moderate Islam
AL-QAEDA VS MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD - AN ONLINE FEUD
What Is a Moderate Muslim?
The Ballot Box Can Moderate Islamists
Curse of the Moderates
Moderate Approach to Hamas is Possible
The West And Moderate Islamism
Hamas dismisses Qaeda call on Israel
The Key To Arab Reform: Moderate Islamists
The Gun or the Ballot Box? Hamas or Al Qaeda?
Hamas: We Are No Al Qaeda
Better Mainstream Islamists Than Al-Qaeda
MB poll: Majority thinks Brotherhood is moderate
Hamdan: Hamas and Al Qaeda Are Incompatible
Habib: Arab and Muslim Nations Rally Around Moderate Islamists
A Moderate Tone from Osama bin Laden Regarding the Iraqi Shi’ites
Faux ’moderate’ Islamists
Zawahri: Egyptian Islamic Group Leaders Joined Qaeda
How the Plot Underscores al-Qaeda’s Weakness
We Must Engage With Moderate Muslims
Al-Qaeda (and US) eclipsed by rise of Iran
Political Islam: Ready for Engagement?
Engaging Moderate Muslims—Really?
Hamas is being punished for moderate behavior
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim, Moderate Muslim?
Moderate Reformists’ Political View in Mauritanian Vote
Habib: Muslim Brotherhood Rejects Al-Qaeda’s Ideology
These Moderates Are in Fact Fanatics, Torturers and Killers
Let’s Hear It for the Moderates
Engagement or Quarantine: How to Deal with the Islamist Advance
The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood
Is the Muslim Brotherhood Moderate or Radical?
How can we deprive al-Qaeda of an Iraqi base? Arm moderate Sunnis
View from Dubai: Why the West must engage Islamists
Islamist diversity is al-Qaeda’s enemy
Finding the moderates
Robert D. Novak: Is U.S. Ignoring The Hamas Call For Peace?
Dilemma of Al-Qaeda In Iraq
Moderation Despite the RAND Corporation!
Six Questions for Marc Lynch on Iraq, the “Surge,” and Al Qaeda
The hidden Arab moderates
Iraq: Sunni Tribes Rise Up Against Al-Qaeda, Without Giving Up Guerilla Action
MB Leaders: We Will Maintain Our Peaceful Reformist Method
US Considering Engaging Muslim Brothers?
Documents show Dahlan was working with AlQaeda
Egypt-Hamas rapprochement said to be helped by AlQaeda intelligence
The War of Words between Hamas and al-Qaeda
Hamas Rejects Al Qaeda, Rebuts Abbas Claims
Experts: Erdogan’s Win Milestone for Moderate Islamic Movements
Is the Muslim Brotherhood Moderate?
DR Morsi : MB has a Peaceful agenda
Engaging Political Islam to Promote Democracy
Hamas versus Al-Qaeda
Building Moderate Muslim Networks
The Debate About The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood Continues