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US Representatives meet with Mansour, Al-Sisi

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Republican members of Congress visit Egypt for the second time in three months

Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, Minister of Defence (AFP Photo)

Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, Minister of Defence
(AFP Photo)

A three-member delegation of members of the United States House of Representatives met with high-level Egyptian government officials on Sunday.

Republicans Steve King, Louis Gohmert and Michele Bachmann arrived to Cairo on Saturday as part of a trip to Egypt that is scheduled to end on Monday.

The group met with interim President Adly Mansour and Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Sunday.

The meeting with Al-Sisi involved discussions concerning regional issues, bilateral relations between Egypt and the United States and recent developments in Egypt’s ongoing transition following former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster.

The trio’s visit was a follow-up to its previous visit in September. King, Gomert and Bachmann met Mansour, Al-Sisi and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II in their previous visit.

They also released a video statement on Egyptian satellite channel ONTV in which the US lawmakers expressed strong support for Egypt’s military-backed transition  and referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as a “dangerous terrorist group,” as Bachmann, the controversial representative from Minnesota, implied that the group was responsible for the 11 September 2011 attacks in the United States.

In his address in the Egyptian media, Gohmert blamed the “bloodthirsty Muslim Brothers” for the assassination attempt on Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and ongoing turmoil in Sinai.

The three conservative American politicians have been outspoken critics of US President Barack Obama’s handling of Egypt. Following the delegation’s first trip to Cairo in September, Gohmert delivered a speech in the House of Representatives, controversially accused the Obama administration of succumbing to Muslim Brotherhood influence and voiced strong support for the removal of Morsi from power and the ongoing crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.

The views of the delegation contrast sharply with senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who visited Egypt in August and urged the government to release detained Muslim Brotherhood leaders as part of political reconciliation.

The presidency condemned the comments made by the senators in Cairo calling it an “unacceptable interference in Egypt’s domestic affairs”.


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