‘Firmly Committed’: Obama Reportedly Invites Egypt’s Islamist President to the United States
The Obama administration has invited Egypt’s new Islamist leader Mohammed Mursi to visit the United States in September, according to an Egyptian official, clearly reflecting Washington’s changing view of Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Jerusalem Post explains [all emphasis added]:
Washington, long wary of Islamists and [a former] ally of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, shifted policy last year to open formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group behind Mursi’s win…
Mursi’s success at the polls mirrors the rising influence of Islamists in countries across the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of revolts and protests against autocratic rulers who have led the region for decades.
The invitation was reportedly extended after the Islamist leader met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Cairo.
The Jerusalem Post continues:
Burns… pledged US support for Egypt’s battered economy and said he welcomed Mursi’s promise to uphold international treaties, which include a peace deal with Israel.
“We have taken careful note and appreciated President Mursi’s public statements about a commitment to international obligations and we certainly attach great importance to Egypt’s continuing role as a force for peace,” Burns said.
Analysts say that one way the United States could influence the direction of policy in Egypt, a nation at the heart of Washington’s regional policy since a peace treaty was signed with Israel in 1979, would be through economic support.
Washington provides $1.3 billion a year in military aid as well as other assistance and could help mobilize other donors, lenders and investors. Those could prove vital as Egypt tries to stave off a balance of payments and budget crisis.
“The United States is firmly committed to doing everything that we can to support Egypt’s economic revival. We understand the challenges that lie ahead and also the president does,” Burns told reporters after his two-hour meeting with Mursi.
Burns said he also discussed a $3.2 billion dollar loan package through the IMF to address Egypt’s “concerns and needs.”
Though Burns sounds optimistic that the ruling party will uphold Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, high-ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood (and Mursi himself) have made it clear that the treaty is far from guaranteed.
The video below, via the Middle East Media Research Institute, highlights one of the ways Mursi was introduced to the Egyptian public, for instance:
And just today, the Blaze reported that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Chairman urged every Muslim to wage jihad on Israel “with their money and their selves.” He also told the country to save Jerusalem from the “rapists” (Israelis), and “cleanse” Palestine of Israel’s “occupation.”
Israel National News rhetorically asks: “What Jewish voters?” while noting that the visit marks the first-ever by a Muslim Brotherhood leader in an official capacity.
But it’s likely that more than Jewish voters are unsettled by what appears to be an emerging friendship between the United States, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
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