(Reuters) - U.S. officials have met members of the Muslim Brotherhood's political party, a U.S. diplomat said, after Washington announced it would have direct contacts with Egypt's biggest Islamist group whose role has grown since U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
Washington announced the plans in June, portraying such contacts as the continuation of an earlier policy. But analysts said it reflected a new approach to the way it dealt with a group which Mubarak banned from politics.
The Brotherhood is one of Egypt's most popular and organized groups, with a broad grassroots network built up partly through social work even in Mubarak's era. (The Brotherhood was NOT popular until after Mubarak's forced resignation - with Obama's interference/assistance!)
The contacts may unsettle Israel and its U.S. backers. The Brotherhood renounced violence as a means to achieve political change in Egypt years ago. But groups like Hamas, which have not disavowed violence, look to the Brotherhood as a spiritual guide. ("renounced violence" - HA HA HA! They are terrorists, idiots! Lying, Jew-hating, Israel-bashing terrorists!)
Under the previous policy, U.S. diplomats were allowed to deal with the Brotherhood's members of parliament who had won seats as "independents" to skirt the official ban. This offered a diplomatic cover to keep lines of communication open.
"We have had direct contacts with senior officials of the Freedom and Justice party," the senior diplomat told Reuters, referring to the Brotherhood's party that was founded after politics opened up following the ouster of Mubarak. (Call the Brotherhood "freedom-loving, gentle as lambs, and whatever else it wishes to call itself - it appears to fool "diplomats" into believing the leopard changed its spots).
The diplomat said U.S. officials did not make a distinction between members of the Brotherhood or its party. "We don't have a policy that makes a distinction, that one or the other is off limits," he said, without saying when the meetings took place. (No, under this administration, when it comes to terrorists organizations, it has no policies! Continues to contribute to Hamas, through aid to Gaza - absolutely no policies in place to stop this insanity!)
The diplomat was responding to a question about whether any meetings had occurred, after Freedom Justice Party Chairman Mohamed Mursi told Egypt's Al-Dostour newspaper last week that U.S. officials had not made contact since the policy shift.
Speaking to Reuters on Sunday, the party deputy head Essam el-Erian also denied any meetings had taken place with U.S. officials when asked about the diplomat's comments.
It was not immediately clear why the two sides gave different accounts.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked in an interview broadcast on Saturday with Egypt's Al-Hayat television whether Washington would be ready to work with a future government that included members of the Brotherhood.
"We will be willing to and open to working with a government that has representatives who are committed to non-violence, who are committed to human rights, who are committed to the democracy that I think was hoped for in Tahrir Square," she replied, according to a U.S. transcript. (and she apologized to the family of a terrorist the USA has just killed in Yemen! Imagine the ability to determine and understand what this Brotherhood's agenda is for Egypt, when you apologize for removing one of the worse terrorist listed on the FBI's list!? Clueless!).
Under the former Egyptian president, the Brotherhood was banned and its members often detained. Mubarak often presented himself as the bulwark preventing Egypt's slide into Islamist hands, an approach that analysts said help secure him backing from Washington and other Western powers wary that Egypt could turn into another Iran or Gaza. (Mubarak was the only one preventing Egypt's slide into Islamist hands; Egypt is finding that out now; and he had good reason for banning the Brotherhood).
The group took a backseat in the early part of the anti-Mubarak uprising, (lie!) which was broadly led by youth groups who put national concerns above religion. But the Brotherhood and its party have taken a increasingly prominent role since.
The diplomat said the U.S. contacts had been with "high-level" members of the Brotherhood's party but did not give names. From the U.S. side, he said the contacts were not at ambassadorial level but he did not give further details.
"We had occasionally had these contacts in the past ... The difference is in the past we had seen parliamentarians," he said.
Egypt's parliament was dissolved after Mubarak's fall. Fresh elections for the lower house are due to start in November, with a vote for the upper house early next year. (60 Minutes last night, Oct. 9th, demonstrated in their recent trip to Egypt, that Egypt is run by the military which has tortured and punished over 12,000 Egyptians since Murbarak's downfall - Egyptians have returned to the streets in protest, claiming that this was not what they had in mind when they demanded Murbarak step down! Whether the military or Brotherhood are in control, there will be no peace or diplomacy for Egyptians and those poor Coptic Christians are still being persecuted and murdered - so much for change in Egypt).
The Brotherhood is expected to perform well in the vote, although many analysts expect a fairly fragmented parliament with no single unified voice emerging.
The diplomat said contacts with the Brotherhood were part of a bid to understand Egypt better and explain U.S. policies. ("and explain U.S. policies" - what policies? The policy that enables the U.S. to veto any requests by Congress to stop aid to countries that are attached/ruled by terrorists and refuse to maintain peace with our ally Israel? Oh, Egypt will be pleased to hear this - they can rape, murder, and torture with no reprisals from the U.S. - way to go Obama!).
"From our perspective it is important to be in touch with all of the emerging political forces here in Egypt, across the board, that are peaceful and committed to non-violence," he said.
"It helps to understand Egypt and the way the political system is developing, and it helps us to deliver our message and get them to understand where we are coming from," he added. (They know where we're coming from - and so, one dictator down and another one coming and as the world turns, change for Egyptians will be worse and who knows, that change could put them into a 14 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT, unemployment rate at 10% and higher, requesting loans from China, and kept afloat with U.S. aid!).
(Additional reporting by Tamim Elyan; Editing by Rosalind Russell)