An Egyptian public diplomacy delegation arrived at the US Congress on Tuesday on a mission to convince Washington to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist group.
Headed by Ahmed Al-Fadaly, a supporter of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the delegation will hold a series of meetings with Congressmen and heads of Congressional committees such as Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and members of the Subcommittee on National Security.
The Egyptian delegation comprises a number of parliamentarians, former diplomats and international law experts concerned with the fight against terror, such as parliamentarian Suleiman Wahdan, former foreign minister Mohamed Al-Orabi, former Egyptian ambassador to the US Mohamed Tawfik, Judge Adel Abdel Baky, parliamentarian and political analyst Emad Gad amongst others.
On Monday, US newspaper the Washington Times reported that President Donald Trump “put on the back burner an executive order designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.” An article titled “How to deal with Muslim Brotherhood triggers Trump White House infighting”, cites anonymous US officials who are close to the debate within the Trump’s administration.
The paper quoted officials as saying that the US has retreated on its executive order last month “after an internal State Department memo advised against it because of the movement’s loose-knit structure and far-flung political ties across the Middle East.”
“The memo ‘explained that there’s not one monolithic Muslim Brotherhood’… its more legitimate political activities would complicate the terrorist designation process.”
In December 2013, the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, after an Egyptian court banned the group in September. Since the military-led ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the Egyptian authorities have launched a major and unprecedented crackdown on the group and its members, followers and sympathisers.