A senior official said the administration of President Barack Obama would not object to a Brotherhood victory in Egyptian parliamentary and presidential elections. The official said Washington did not view an Islamic-led Egypt, which has been receiving $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid, as a threat.
“I think we will be satisfied, if it is a free and fair election,” U.S. special adviser William Taylor said.
In a Nov. 4 address to the Atlantic Council, Taylor, the State Department’s special coordinator for Middle East transitions, played down the repercussions of a Brotherhood regime in Egypt. Taylor, responsible for Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, said the Brotherhood, expected to win parliamentary elections on Nov. 28, would be judged by its policy rather than statements.
“What we need to do is judge people and parties and movements on what they do, not what they’re called,” Taylor said.
The United States has been examining the prospect of Islamic governments in several Middle East countries. In October, the Islamist opposition Ennhada won parliamentary elections in Tunisia while Libya said it would impose Islamic law.
“These revolutions, this movement toward democracy has the ability to repudiate the terrorist narrative,” Taylor said.
The US Congress has expressed concern over the growth of the Brotherhood throughout the Middle East, particularly North Africa. Some House and Senate members said the Brotherhood, with headquarters in Cairo, could establish Islamic states throughout North Africa and the Levant.
In September 2011, the U.S. Army published a report that warned that a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt would suspend military cooperation with the United States and deny Washington transit rights to the Suez Canal. The report said a Brotherhood takeover was the worst of seven scenarios of Egypt after the passing of President Hosni Mubarak.
The US State Department has expanded contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood. Officials said the U.S. embassy as well as visiting American diplomats have met Brotherhood members in parliament as well as policy-makers in the movement.
“This is something that we are used to and should not be afraid of,” Taylor said. “We should deal with them.”