Muslim Brotherhood member and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Vice Chairman Essam El-Erian is in the United States to attend a summit at the United Nations. According to his Twitter account, the former MP travelled to the US with a delegation from the Arab Parliament and was scheduled to take part in a hearing about the UN’s role in conflict resolution and peace building in the Middle East.
In a brief interview with Al-Wafd in New York, El Erian insisted he was visiting the US solely as a representative of the Arab Parliament. He added that he was sent due to his credentials as an elected member in Egypt’s previous parliament, as elections to replace the dissolved assembly have not yet taken place.
Spokesperson for the US State Department Mark Toner said he did not have details of El-Erian’s visit.
“Our embassy is in regular contact with Egyptian leaders at all levels from across the political spectrum,” said Toner.
A delegation on behalf of President Mohamed Morsy arrived in Washington last week and spoke to a number of high level officials throughout the US government. That delegation includes Morsy’s advisor for foreign relations and international cooperation Essam Al-Haddad, adviser for integrated development affairs Hussein Al-Qazzaz, and presidential coordinator for foreign affairs Khaled Al-Qazzaz. The three, who went in their capacity as part of the presidential team, are all members of the Freedom and Justice Party.
President Morsy is scheduled to visit the US in February of next year.
El-Erian arrived in New York City on Thursday and is expected to arrive back in Cairo on Sunday.
Ahmed Sobei, a spokesperson for the FJP, said that El-Erian’s visit to the US had no relation with the party or the Muslim Brotherhood, and that his trip was simply a part of his duties to the Arab Parliament.