Israeli media is reporting on what id described as the willingness of the EU to hold talks with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Jerusalem Post report:
The European Union is amenable to holding talks with the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported Monday. “We are always open to dialogue with anyone who is interested in democracy,” said Michael Mann, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
The remarks came days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that Washington would hold “limited” contacts with the Brotherhood. Clinton said US authorities would stress the importance of non-violence, democratic freedoms, and the rights of women and minorities.
Ashton met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood along with representatives of other political groups in Egypt during her four visits to the country following the start of the January 25 Revolution, her spokesman said. That dialogue could expand, he said, provided “we are talking on the [creation of] a pluralistic political regime that allows people not just to elect their governments but to kick them out as well.” Mann said thatwhile the EU is willing to provide political and other forms of assistance it is “in no way” seeking to interfere with the dynamics of the political process in Egypt, the development of which he said “is looking relatively positive. “It is important that everybody is given the time to form political parties so when elections happen it is pluralistic,” he said.
The Brotherhood is seen as the best prepared political group to contest the polls, but internal squabbles, confusion over policy and suspicion that its leaders are interested only in power have dimmed its allure for some Egyptians.
Previous posts have discussed announcements by U.S. officials that formal contact will resume between the U.S. and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.