WASHINGTON — A key US lawmaker on Friday condemned contacts between
President Barack Obama's administration and Egypt's once-banned Muslim
Brotherhood, warning the group aims to impose strict Islamist law.
strongly disagree with the Obama Administration's contacts with the
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood," said Republican Steve Chabot, who chairs
the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South
"The United States should be doing everything it can to
support secular democratic opposition groups instead of groups like the
Muslim Brotherhood with the proclaimed objective of establishing Sharia
law," he said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said during a visit to Budapest on Thursday that Washington had
been in "limited contacts" with the group as part of an effort to adjust
to Egypt's political upheaval.
"The Obama administration is
continuing the approach of limited contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood
that have existed on and off for about five or six years," she told
"We believe that given the change of the political
landscape in Egypt, it is in the interest of the United States to engage
with all parties that are peaceful and committed to non-violence," she
"This is not a new policy but it is one that we're re-engaging in."
said Washington had "a clear interest in the emergence of a democratic
and prosperous Egypt" because Egypt's future will have "a
disproportionate impact on the future of the broader Middle East."
lawmaker said the United States should be pushing for democratic and
free-market reforms in Egypt, and said one key goal was seeing its
government respect the country's peace treaty with Israel.
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