US Reaches Out To Egyptian Islamists

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Context

The US deputy secretary of state, William Burns was to meet with leaders of Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Cairo on Wednesday. The party has achieved a sweeping victory in the first parliamentary votes.

Egypt’s Islamists are poised to dominate the next lower house of parliament, with two parties winning 65% of seats, closely followed by al-Nour party, which represents the ultra-conservative brand of Islam. Rival leftist parties have fared badly in the elections.

The US is reaching out to Freedom and Justice Party FJP, which secured 35 % of the vote, as a new political entity. However, US has indicated concerns about the group’s attitude toward Egypt’s Coptic minority, women and the peace treaty with Israel.

Burns is also expected to discuss Egypt’s major crackdown on local and international NGOs as part of a probe into allegations of illegal funding from abroad.