In a show of total disapproval towards the United States’ relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood–an Islamist entity that has been designated as a terrorist group in many countries–Egypt has summoned the U.S. Ambassador to Cairo to demand answers from the White House over where the parties’ relationship stands.
Egyptian officials were particularly concerned with a recent confab of Muslim Brotherhood figures and their visits to a series of conferences while stateside, sources told Reuters on Monday.
The unnamed source told Reuters that the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Stephen Beecroft, had been sought out for answers in “recent days,” and that the meeting was specifically convened to address the Obama administration’s ties with the global jihadist group.
When reached for comment, State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke refused to confirm or deny whether Ambassador Beecroft had met with Egyptian officials to discuss the sensitive matter.
Rathke said he did not “have any meetings to announce,” but did mention that U.S. policy for Egypt is to continue discussions with all of the political parties in the country, according to the report.
But in January, the State Department openly admitted to meeting with members of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, which was banned in Egypt after its leadership was forcibly removed from power in 2013.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi regards the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group that poses the most present and prevalent threat to Egypt’s sovereignty. Before Sisi was elected president, as an Egyptian military General, he led a coup that saw the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi. While Morsi was President, Egypt’s civil society came to the edge of collapse, some believe. Anti-Brotherhood groups accused the “political Islamist” outfit of having sworn allegiance to jihadist networks and rival states instead of their host country, leading to the point where its leadership structure became unfit to serve as representatives of Egypt.