CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood dismissed on Saturday U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to deliver a speech to the Muslim world from Egypt as part of a plan to keep Arab and Muslim states divided.
Deputy leader Mohamed Habib said overtures by the United States to countries like Syria and Iran, and recent visits by U.S. officials to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, indicated the speech would be used to further the superpower’s pro-Israeli agenda.
“The U.S. administration is trying to use each of these countries individually to serve the American agenda and American interests, in addition to securing, promoting, protecting and guaranteeing the superiority of the Zionist entity (Israel),” Habib told Reuters.
The Brotherhood is Egypt’s largest and most powerful opposition group, and seeks an Islamic state through democratic means. It disavowed violence decades ago and is officially banned, but operates relatively openly.
Obama will deliver a speech to the Muslim world in Egypt on June 4 in which he will seek to repair ties that were severely damaged under his predecessor George W. Bush. “The statements are rosy, but politics is not built on statements as much as it’s based on practices on the ground. Let’s wait and see,” Habib said.
The Brotherhood controls roughly a fifth of seats in Egypt’s lower house of parliament. The group played a seminal role in the development of Islamist ideology and political groups around the Muslim world.