In what has been described as “the first meeting of its kind”, senior US officials have met with Muslim Brotherhood members in Cairo. Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, the Secretary General of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country, received Prem G. Kumar, Director of the Egypt Desk at the US National Security Organization and Amy Destefano, First Secretary of the US Embassy in Cairo at the meeting held in the party headquarters. A statement issued later said that the participants “discussed the democratic transformation in Egypt and Egypt-US relations”.
Dr. Katatni, it is claimed, commented on American policy in many areas, including intervention in Egypt’s domestic affairs, human rights, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the US administration’s support for Arab autocrats at the expense of their people. “if America wants to build balanced relations with the countries of the region after the Arab Spring, it should re-read the new scenario in accordance to the will of the peoples of the region,” said Dr. Katatni, “as this has become a critical factor in the political equation.”
Furthermore, the statement pointed out that the Secretary General “emphasised the importance of having Egypt-US relations based on mutual respect and non-interference in domestic affairs, as well as mutual respect for human rights free of double-standards.”
The Freedom and Justice Party’s vision for the democratic transformation of Egypt includes an elected parliament and a government supported by the majority capable of administering the next stage of the democratic process; an elected president approved by the public who has the vision to take Egypt forward post-revolution; and a stable constitution which reflects the independent Egyptian will.
Prem G. Kumar, it is said, laid emphasis on the fact that the US administration “is seeking dialogue with all the political forces in Egypt, especially after the changes post-revolution” and “supports the democratic change in Egypt and the Arab region”. He also referred to the keenness of the United States to achieve an economic balance in many Arab countries to help them overcome poverty and the suffering experienced by the Arab people.