Muslim Brotherhood start dialogue with Egyptian authorities
The Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement Saturday night that they had "started a dialogue" with Egyptian officials. An official of the Muslim Brotherhood, who preferred not to be named, told AFP that "a meeting was held on Saturday morning between officials of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Vice-President, Omar Suleiman." The statement by the Muslim Brotherhood was signed by the leader of the group, Mohammed Badi.
The statement also stressed the need to "respect public freedoms."
Meanwhile, the Obama administration on Saturday distanced itself from remarks about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made by a man the US leader had used as an envoy to Cairo in recent days. The former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner said at a security conference in Munich, Germany, that "President Mubarak remains utterly critical in the days ahead as we sort our way toward the future."
Wisner said that Mubarak "must stay in office in order to steer those changes through. ... This is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward."
On his part, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "We have great respect for Frank Wisner and we were deeply appreciative of his willingness to travel to Egypt last week. He has not continued in any official capacity following the trip. The views he expressed today are his own. He did not coordinate his comments with the U.S. government."