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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Some Egyptian and World Politics

I realize that with an anchorman "misremembering" everything from Iraqi combat to gangs rampaging through his hotel lobby and Bruce Jenner being involved in a traffic accident, there probably isn't much airtime available on the evening news at home to report on world affairs.  But did you know that Vladamir Putin is spending two days here in Cairo?

This is the first visit here by a Russian leader since the 1970s.  Here is a Reuters article on the two countries commitment to fight terrorism.  That commitment was reinforced with the Kalashnikov AK-47 that Putin presented to president Sisi, shown in this picture.
(Photo from media sources)

Putin also pledged help setting up a whole new nuclear power industry.

Meanwhile, the news on the U.S. - Egypt relationship is not so sanguine.

A story appeared last week in select U.S. media showing this picture of a Muslim Brotherhood party member meeting at the U.S. State Department.  The Brotherhood member had posted it on his Facebook page.  He is flashing the Brotherhood "sign."
(Photo from media sources)

Well, the sh** hit the fan when that showed up on the evening news here in Cairo!  People were wondering why the U.S. would meet with members of this outlawed organization that the Egyptian government has declared a terrorist organization.

State Department spokesperson, Jan Psaki explained.  It was Georgetown University's fault:
“Well, State Department officials meet—recently met with a group of visiting Egyptian former parliamentarians whose visit to the United States was organized and funded by Georgetown University,” she said. “Such meetings are fairly routine at the State Department where we regularly meet with political party leaders from across the world.”
 Georgetown apparently didn't appreciate that.  Two days later, Psaki re-explained:
“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the accurate information on one small piece. The meeting was set up by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a nonprofit. So the visit was not funded, as you know, by us or the U.S. Government, but it was also not funded by Georgetown,” Psaki said.
Continuing on, Psaki was asked:
"Are you—is the building comfortable with continuing to do business with this center, this group?” a reporter asked.

Yes. Yes,” Psaki responded.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned the visit and expressed frustration with the State Department for hosting the Brotherhood-aligned delegation, which was first reported by the Free Beacon.

“These statements are incomprehensible to me, we do not understand that there will be such a communication with the elements involved in terrorist acts to intimidate the Egyptians,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri was quoted as saying in the regional press.

“The Brotherhood is not a political party,” but “a terrorist organization,” Shukri said.

Just days after the Brotherhood-aligned delegation was hosted at the State Department, the Islamist organization released a statement calling for “a long, uncompromising jihad.”

There is an opinion piece in the New York Post today that will help bring you up to speed.
You can read it at this link.

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