Muslim Brotherhood to Attend Obama’s Speech in Cairo
Al-Arabiya has just reported that, under pressure from the United States, the Secretariat-General of the lower house of the Egyptian Parliament invited ten members of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc to attend Barack Obama‘s speech in Cairo on Thursday.
The delegation will include Dr. Saad Al Katatni, leader of the bloc, who said that the invitation “came as a compromise solution between the American administration and the Egyptian government, considering that there is increasing pressure on the administration from the American press on the necessity of meeting with all members of opposition and other influential forces.”
Though Katatni explicitly denied it, Al-Arabiya’s reporter Mustafa Sulaiman speculated that Brotherhood members may also be invited to a special meeting that Obama will hold with writers, politicians and members of Egyptian civil society.
In an interview with IslamOnline, Katatni elaborated, “The American press has warned the U.S. administration that if Obama met only with the symbols of the regime and ignored the opposition forces, this would send a message that Washington supports authoritarian regimes, and ignores forces that are alive and well in society, among them the Brotherhood.”
UPDATE: Michael Crowley of The New Republic has an interesting follow-up story that mentions ambivalence amongst some members of the Brotherhood for the American democracy promotion debate.