Brotherhood joins rally – USA: talks with Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahda

Under Secretary of State William J. Burns,  in Cairo , left

Under Secretary of State William J. Burns, in Cairo , left


In a rare show of unity, Egypt’s largest political Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, will join a vast array of liberal, leftist and secular political forces, including youth representatives from this year’s anti-Mubarak uprising, July 8. They will demand that police officers and former regime officials are finally held accountable and that the army’s grip over the justice system comes to an end. The Muslim Brotherhood initially said it would boycott the rally due to disagreements with political rivals over whether a new constitution should be written before or after parliamentary elections. But the “constitution-first” demand has now been softened by rally organisers and the Brotherhood’s involvement, which analysts believe is essential if the group wants to maintain credibility, looks set to bolster protester numbers significantly.
“The Brotherhood is trying to reassure investors by saying, ‘Look, we are business owners and professionals,’” said Elijah Zarwan, an analyst in Cairo for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
The Muslim Brotherhood initially said it would boycott the rally due to disagreements with political rivals over whether a new constitution should be written before or after parliamentary elections. But the “constitution-first” demand has now been softened by rally organisers and the Brotherhood’s involvement, which analysts believe is essential if the group wants to maintain credibility, looks set to bolster protester numbers significantly.
High level diplomats, including Under Secretary of State William J. Burns, were in Cairo this week and held talks with many different leaders of the coalition of movements that took part in the demonstrations, including several leaders of a youth movement within the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Obama administration has also reached out to Tunisia’s most prominent Islamist party, Ennahda.

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