Khairat Al-Shater is one of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt who was jailed by the military. Prior to Mohammed Mursi, he had been the Brotherhood’s leading candidate for president. Alas, he had to withdraw because he had been in jail five times on charges ranging from money laundering to funding the Brotherhood. Guess where he is now.
Hint: Number 6.
Yesterday, Ahram reported that al-Shater snubbed a diplomatic delegation that included U.S. State Department Deputy Bill Burns. The delegation is interested in mediating an agreement between the Brotherhood and the new government. Apparently, al-Shater only wanted people to believe he didn’t meet with the delegation.
Via ABC News:
The second-most senior U.S. diplomat has met with the imprisoned deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a senior official, a sign that the United States is ramping up its attempts to mediate Egypt’s political crisis.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns traveled late Sunday night to the notorious Tora Prison, a jail in the middle of Cairo that has housed some of Egypt’s most famous prisoners, to meet with Khairat el-Shater, the official said.
The Brotherhood had claimed until now that El-Shater refused to meet.
As is almost always the case, those who want to give the Brotherhood more power are the ones eager to see both sides negotiate. After all, the Brotherhood’s leaders are in jail. Consider this excerpt from a a Brookings Institute ‘expert’ who seems eager to see the Brotherhood get more power:
“There seems to be a window where the two different parties of the conflict are allowing for new mediation efforts,” H.A. Hellyer, an expert on Egypt at the Brookings Institution, said. “That’s a change.”
Hellyer appears to be pulling for the Brotherhood. Consider that this past June, he was on the participant list of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum (IWF) in Doha, Qatar. This Forum was rife with Brotherhood members and sympathizers.
The Brotherhood lied about the meeting between al-Shater and Burns not taking place. Then, it lied about the length of it, which was actually 90 minutes according to the ABC report:
The Brotherhood had strongly denied the meeting took place, an apparent attempt to keep any mediation efforts under wraps. Publicly, the group says it is not negotiating and will end its protests if Mohamed Mosi is reinstated as president.
After ABC News initially posted news of the meeting on Twitter, a Brotherhood spokesman called an ABC News reporter and acknowledged that el-Shater met Burns, but called it a “swift exchange” that lasted only 10 minutes.
“It was not a real meeting,” Gehad el-Haddad told ABC News.
With the Egyptian people already disgusted with the Obama administration, to include its Ambassador to Egypt – Anne Patterson – it’s quite obvious why the Brotherhood wanted this meeting hidden from the public. Now that the public knows the meeting took place, it just reinforces their views relative to the administration’s affinity for the Brotherhood.
Apparently, when it comes to this meeting, dishonesty is the best policy.
Last year, during her visit to Egypt, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the military to cede power to the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, more than a year later, the same State Department is doing the same thing.