Is Brotherhood’s attraction for reconciliation with Cairo real?

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The Muslim Brotherhood is asking for dialogue with the Egyptian presidency with out preconditions.

In a letter dated Sept. 14, distinguished Brotherhood chief and the group’s former commissioner for worldwide relations Youssef Nada stated the “door is open for dialogue” with the Egyptian presidency. “We learned in politics that setting preconditions foils dialogue,” he added.

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Nada’s letter got here in response to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s dwell speech on Sept. 11 throughout the launching of the National Strategy for Human Rights, the primary of its type, which goals to develop Egypt’s human rights document. “Over the past 90 to 100 years, Egyptian society has been imbued with a specific thought,” Sisi stated, in reference to the ideology of the Brotherhood that was based in 1928.

“I am not in disagreement with them (the Brotherhood), but on the condition that they respect my path and do not intersect with me or target me … I will accept [the Brotherhood’s] thought, but it will not impose it on me, and it will not [use it to] pressure me — not only on me as a person, but also on Egypt and society,” he added.

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In his letter, Nada stated, “Opening a dialogue with the Egyptian presidency … requires ending the suffering of imprisoned women and men and the suffering of their families.”

Over the previous years, the Muslim Brotherhood has often expressed its will to reconcile with the Egyptian state, however up to now initiatives for reconciliation have been conditional. On Aug. 14, 2018, on the fifth anniversary of the violent dispersals of the sit-ins held by supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi in Rabaa and al-Nahda squares, the group introduced a 10-item initiative, calling for early presidential elections.

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The initiative again then additional burdened that the group is a nationwide faction and a peaceable group. It additionally underscored the significance of the rights of the victims of the dispersal of the sit-ins and the necessity to achieve justice.

This yr, on March 23, Ibrahim Munir, the Brotherhood’s deputy basic information, reiterated the group’s readiness to reconcile with the state on a number of situations. “If the Egyptian opposition, of which we are part, is offered a dialogue with the regime that covers the conditions of the detainees and improves the conditions of the people, we will not refuse. We would be surely wrong to refuse,” he stated throughout an interview with Al-Jazeera.

In a tweet on Sept. 11, Egyptian opposition journalist Gamal Sultan stated Sisi opened the door to reconciliation with the Brotherhood in his speech and stated he was prepared to just accept their presence. Sultan argued, nonetheless, that Sisi linked dialogue to a few situations: The Brotherhood should acknowledge his authority and legitimacy, they need to not stand in his manner or problem his ruling energy, they usually should not criticize him.

Hassan Nafaa, professor of political science at Cairo University, instructed Al-Monitor Sisi’s latest speech was interpreted as a name for reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. “Sisi tried to throw the ball in the group’s court and blame it for exploiting the Egyptian people’s ignorance and religious slogans to achieve its goals and gain power,” he stated.

Nafaa stated the Brotherhood’s latest name for reconciliation goals to check the waters and discover the state’s intentions, particularly because it comes within the wake of main worldwide and US strain on Egypt to repair its human rights document.

He stated the decision for dialogue follows the Egyptian state’s makes an attempt to appease worldwide strain by proposing a technique to develop human rights in a bid to convey a picture to the world that Egypt has a democratic local weather and seeks to advertise human rights situations.

On Sept. 15, a US State Department spokesperson revealed the Joe Biden administration will withhold $130 million value of army assist to Egypt until Cairo meets particular necessities associated to human rights.

Earlier this yr, on March 12, 31 nations, together with European nations, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, issued a joint assertion addressed to the United Nations Human Rights Council expressing their concern in regards to the violation of freedoms in Egypt. The assertion referred to as on Egypt to chorus from resorting to anti-terrorism legal guidelines to muzzle opponents, human rights defenders and journalists, and to finish pre-trial detentions.

“These reconciliation steps [by the Brotherhood], however, remain a mere attempt to embarrass the state and to show that it does not tolerate the opposition and refuses to hold dialogue with it. I do not expect the state to respond positively despite international criticism. The Egyptian state sees this group as a threat to its existence and identity,” Nafaa said.

Samir Ghattas, a former parliament member and head of the Middle East Forum for Political and Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor, “It is possible for the state to reach some political understandings with the reformist movement within the Muslim Brotherhood, but not with the Qutbi movement, which is prone to violence and confrontation with state institutions.”

He famous the state succeeded in exhausting and pressuring the group in order that it may impose its situations on it. “This is all the more true in light of the Egyptian-Turkish reconciliation. Egypt had required Turkey to stop funding, supporting and embracing the Brotherhood. This also coincides with the waning influence of the group in Morocco and Tunisia. All these factors have weakened the group’s negotiating position with the state,” Ghattas added.

On June 24, Turkish authorities had requested journalists affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to cease their media actions from its lands, whether or not on satellite tv for pc platforms, social networking websites or YouTube. The measure appears to fall inside the scope of Ankara’s efforts to achieve rapprochement with Egypt.

Most not too long ago, in Morocco, the governing Justice and Development Party — the Brotherhood’s department within the North African nation — misplaced most of its seats in parliament throughout the Sept. eight legislative elections, gaining solely 12 seats in comparison with 125.

Commenting on the US strain on Egypt, Ghattas stated the quantity of assist withheld by the Biden administration is somewhat small and won’t pose an actual risk to the state. He dominated out an escalation or a suspension of extra assist to Egypt by the US administration within the upcoming interval. “For Washington, Cairo is a regional pillar of stability in many fields, especially in the Palestinian file and relations with Israel,” he stated.

The United States has been allocating $1.three billion in annual army assist to Egypt for the reason that signing of the Camp David peace settlement between Egypt and Israel in 1978.

On May 21, US President Joe Biden thanked Sisi for the Egyptian efforts that had been made to reach a cease-fire settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians within the Gaza Strip. He praised the essential function performed by Egyptian officers on this diplomatic course of.


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