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Cablegate: Muslim Brotherhood Mp's Complain: Why Were We

VZCZCXRO9426
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #2165/01 1921309
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111309Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6107
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 002165

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR SINGH AND WATERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM KISL EG
SUBJECT: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD MP'S COMPLAIN: WHY WERE WE
"EXCLUDED" FROM MEETING WITH CODEL?

REF: A. CAIRO 2162
B. CAIRO 1641

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

1. (U) As reported ref A, on July 2, CODEL McCollum
(comprised of Representative Betty McCollum (D-WI) and
Representative Lincoln Davis (D-TN)), met with parliamentary
speaker Fathi Surour and several other MP's. CODEL McCollum
was the first in a series of exchange visits between Congress
and the Egyptian parliament, organized by an AID grantee
tasked with enhancing contacts between the People's Assembly
and Congress.

2. (U) Unlike the experience of recent CODEL's Hoyer and
Price (reftel), no "independent" MB MP's were invited by
Speaker Surour to CODEL McCollum's meetings at parliament. A
July 7 article in independent daily Al Masry Al Yom, quoted
Surour as saying that no MB MP was invited because, "the
American delegation did not ask that all political powers in
parliament, including those who call themselves the 'Muslim
Brotherhood,' be invited, in contrast with the previous
congressional delegation, which requested that an MB
representative attend." In a July 1 statement on the MB's
English-language website, the MB strongly objected to MB
parliamentarians not being included in the meeting. Full
text of statement at para 4.

3. (SBU) Comment: Given apparent MB anxieties regarding
meeting with American officials, it is interesting to note
the seeming evolution in the group's approach vis-a-vis U.S.
Congressmen. Evidently, not only will MB parliamentarians
now willingly participate in meetings with their American
counterparts, but they will roundly condemn not being given
such an opportunity. End comment.

4. (U) Begin text of MB statement:

The Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc confirmed that it
does not object to visiting the U.S. Congress and contacting
it.

Dr. Hamdi Hassan, the media spokesman of the Muslim
Brotherhood (MB) parliamentary bloc, confirmed that the MB
parliamentary bloc does not object to visiting the U.S.,
Congress and contacting it or any other body. This
confirmation was in response to the commencement of the
Egyptian parliament's exchange visit program with the U.S.
Congress. The first of these exchange meetings will take
place on Sunday, July 1, 2007 (sic), as some Egyptian MPs
will meet a delegation from the U.S. Congress.

Dr. Hamdi Hassan said in a statement to Ikhwanweb:
"Unfortunately, there is no MB parliamentarian in the meeting
scheduled to be held today, between Egyptian MPs and a
delegation from the U.S. Congress. According to the by-laws
of the People's Assembly, when any delegation visits the
People's Assembly, all political trends should have
representatives on the Egyptian group that receives the
delegation. The Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc
comprises 20 percent of the MPs of the People's Assembly, a
rate that should never be ignored."

"When a delegation from the Indonesian parliament visited the
Egyptian People's Assembly, the delegation included
representatives from all political parties in the Indonesian
parliament, nearly eleven parties," added Hassan.

Dr. Hamdi Hassan said: "The visit of the U.S. congressional
delegation to the Egyptian People's Assembly is a part of an
exchange of visits between the Egyptian People's Assembly and
the U.S. Congress. We do not object to holding any contact
or meetings between some MPs who include a number of Muslim
Brotherhood MPs and the Congressional delegation, if there is
a coordination with the People's Assembly for holding such
meeting or contacts."

Asked about the fierce criticism from the Egyptian government
because of a previous meeting between a U.S. congressional
delegation and a number of MPs, including Dr. Saad Al
Katatni, the MB bloc chief, Dr. Hamdi said: "It is crystal
clear that Egyptian policies are contradictory. This is
because Dr. Saad is a member of the Egyptian parliament who
can represent both the parliament and his homeland. The
attitude of the Egyptian government and its Foreign Ministry
is outlandish."

End text of statement.

CAIRO 00002165 002 OF 002


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