**updated with correct month of Haaretz post
In a previous Water Cooler post, I noted that an Egyptian daily Almasry Alyoum initially reported in April of 2009 that President Barack Obama met with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington, DC two months earlier. Haaretz.com picked up the Egyptian article in 2009 and described it as meeting with Mr. Obama had that Brotherhood members did not want publicized: (bolding is mine)
U.S. President Barack Obama met with members of Egypt’s Islamist opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, earlier this year, according to a report in Thursday editions of the Egyptian daily newspaper Almasry Alyoum.
The newspaper reported that Obama met the group’s members, who reside in the U.S. and Europe, in Washington two months ago.
According to the report, the members requested that news of the meeting not be publicized. They expressed to Obama their support for democracy and the war on terror.
The newspaper also reported that the members communicated to Obama their position that the Muslim Brotherhood would abide by all agreements Egypt has signed with foreign countries.
Obama landed in Cairo on Thursday to deliver a conciliatory speech as part of his outreach to the Arab and Muslim world.
The Muslim Brotherhood is considered a Sunni-dominated fundamentalist Islamic organization that has spawned numerous factions across the Arab world that have engaged in terrorist activity, including the Palestinian rejectionist group Hamas.
Mr. Obama’s administration recently said that there should be room for opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in the newly formed Egyptian government as long as the long banned Islamist group “rejects violence and recognizes Democratic goals.”
Given the events unfolding in Egypt today, it is important for not only Egyptians but also Americans to know more details about the reported meeting Mr. Obama had with Muslim Brotherhood members in 2009. How much did Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak know about it? Did he know about it at all at the time the meeting happened? More importantly what exactly was discussed?