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Clinton: U.S. Has Had 'Limited' Engagement With Muslim Brotherhood

In a press conference this morning, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the United Sates has had contact with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The New York Daily News reports:

She revealed Thursday that America will renew its "limited contacts" with the organization, a move that is likely to anger Israel and its supporters who are uncomfortable with the group's highly conservative version of Islam.

Clinton said during a visit to Budapest that Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections in September have given the U.S. a new impetus to recognize the country's largest Islamist movement.

"We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency," Clinton said.

The BBC reports that the Muslim Brotherhood "welcomed" Clinton's words, but that the U.S. had made no "direct contact."

The BBC adds:

The Muslim Brotherhood has stressed that the new party it has set up to contest September's elections will be a civil, not a theocratic, group.

But correspondents say that with its Islamist agenda and historical links to radical groups, the group is feared and mistrusted in the West and to some extent in Egypt.

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