The second-most senior U.S. diplomat has met with the imprisoned deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood
Obama Inc. is not giving up on its plan to get the Muslim Brotherhood back into power. Imagine a US diplomat meeting with an imprisoned Nazi leader in 1945 to discuss getting the Nazi Party back into power.
The second-most senior U.S. diplomat has met with the imprisoned deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to a senior official, a sign that the United States is ramping up its attempts to mediate Egypt's political crisis.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns traveled late Sunday night to the notorious Tora Prison, a jail in the middle of Cairo that has housed some of Egypt's most famous prisoners, to meet with Khairat el-Shater, the official said.
The meeting, which took place in the same prison where former President Hosni Mubarak is serving out a life sentence, lasted 90 minutes and, while there were no breakthroughs, it was "productive," according to the senior official.
Obama has so blackened America's rep in Egypt that it's the imprisoned Brotherhood that keeps denying meetings with American diplomats.
The Brotherhood had claimed until now that El-Shater refused to meet.
Before contacting ABC News, el-Haddad took to Twitter to call stories about el-Shater's meeting with Burns "fictional." He said el-Shater walked out as soon as he saw the participants.
After ABC News initially posted news of the meeting on Twitter, a Brotherhood spokesman called an ABC News reporter and acknowledged that el-Shater met Burns, but called it a "swift exchange" that lasted only 10 minutes.
"It was not a real meeting," Gehad el-Haddad told ABC News.
Also there are no American soldiers in Baghdad Airport. So what's really going on behind the scenes? Forget the US media, which gets permission from Obama Inc. before reporting a story, and turn to Egypt.
Khairat El-Shater, the jailed deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and four foreign mediators have offered a prospect for a deal that could "reduce political heat," "avert further violence and bloodshed" and "offer a possible exit from the current crisis," according to Egyptian political sources and foreign diplomats in Cairo.
In his meeting with the assistant secretary of state William Burns, the assistant to the EU envoy Bernadino Leon, and the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates Khalid Al-Attiyah and Abdullah bin Zayed, El-Shater was abrupt, angry, sceptical and defensive, according to sources who spoke to Ahram Online.
Qatar was the Brotherhood's biggest backer and helped overthrow Mubarak. The UAE on the other hand has turned on the Brotherhood in a big way.
EU foreign policy commissioner Catherine Ashton told Morsi in plain talk last week that it was too late to restore the pre-30 June setup. This point was reiterated to El-Shater by the mediating ‘quartet.'
"Yes, even the Qatari foreign minister is aware that there is no going back to the past," said an Egyptian official who asked to remain anonymous.
So it's back to the future, with a bunch of Brotherhood ministers in the new government. Or that's the theory, at any rate. But the Brotherhood does not seem to be biting yet. Why should they? Their people are dying in the streets to get them a better deal.
Meanwhile Obama's newest sweetheart may be headed to trial for inciting the murder of civilians.