A congressional delegation traveling in Egypt raised a few eyebrows Monday when it met with Khayrat el-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood ’s new presidential candidate in the country’s 2012 presidential race.
The Brotherhood’s surprise move Saturday to run its chief financier and strategist — reneging on prior commitments not to run anyone for president — was a political bombshell, worrying liberals and secularists and even splitting the Brotherhood.
Members of the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership,which brings together U.S. lawmakers and those from countries with less-established democratic traditions, cautioned against placing too much significance in their Monday meeting with el-Shater.
The meeting was scheduled before the controversial presidential nomination, Rep. Gerry E. Connolly (R-Va.) said at a Cairo press conference. “I would not read much into it,” he added, according to thedailynewsegypt.com
The delegation, which has gone often to Arab Spring countries — they were in Libya just before the Cairo stop — also included chairman Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), ranking member Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) and Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Erik Paulsen. They took off Tuesday for Kosovo and Macedonia.