Although American officials have said they will not meet with a Muslim Brotherhood delegation during their trip to the United States, the White House expressed the possibility that there could be future relations with the jihadist entity.
“We engage with representatives from across the political spectrum, and this is a group we’ve also met with in the recent past,” commented State Department spokesman Jeffrey Rathke. “But you know, we don’t have any further reasoning than we simply aren’t meeting with them this time,” he added.
An unnamed State Department official expanded upon the remarks. “It is the prerogative of the [State] Department to prioritize its engagements and a meeting won’t be helpful at this time,” the AFP reported the unnamed official as saying.
On Monday, the Egyptian government summoned U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Stephen Beecroft, to make their frustrations known about the Obama administration’s openness to the Brotherhood, which has been designated as a terrorist organization in many countries.
In January, high-ranking State Department officials met with members of the global jihadist organization. The group was banned in Egypt in 2013 following the tumultuous reign of former President Mohamed Morsi.
The current Brotherhood delegation reportedly includes former high-ranking advisers to former President Morsi, including Wael Haddara, a prominent foreign affairs adviser; Maha Azzam, the leader of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council; and Amro Derag, secretary-general of the banned Brotherhood party.
The Muslim Brotherhood delegation is being sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Center For The Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a group that was founded by members of a now-defunct radical Muslim advocacy group. Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes has described CSID as a part of “the militant Islamist lobby.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be the most dangerous threat to his country’s sovereignty, according to recent remarks. The Islamist outfit has been accused by an Egyptian court of working with jihadist networks and selling state secrets to foreign countries.