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The story behind Brotherhood’s low-key lobbying before Sisi state visit

As Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrives in Washington to meet US President Donald Trump, a previously unpublished document reveals the behind-the-scenes efforts made by the Muslim Brotherhood to keep from being labeled a terrorist group in the United States.
Supporters of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gather outside the White House prior to his arrival for a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTX33VYB

Ever since it was announced in late March that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would be coming to Washington April 3 to meet with President Donald Trump and hold a series of meetings with US decision-makers, there has been talk about a number of things on his agenda. Although Sisi and his accompanying delegation will likely discuss many issues during their visit to the US capital, one of the most critical and important issues for Cairo will be attempting to persuade the new administration to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Attempts at getting the US Congress to slap this label on the group during former President Barack Obama’s term were not successful, after bills proposed in both the House and Senate in early 2016 failed to garner enough support. The Senate bill was proposed by former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas.

Statements from the parliamentary and political delegation accompanying Sisi, whose members arrived in Washington on March 30-31, show that they will be focusing on communicating with congressmen who voted in favor of the aforementioned bills, along with other legislators, in an effort to get congressional support for labeling the Brotherhood a terrorist group.

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