In exclusive statements to Egyptian newspaper ‘Al-Youm Al-Sabea’ from Washington, Dr. Helmi Al-Gazzar, leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Secretary in Giza, said he refused to attend a conference organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s (WINEP) because Israelis were allowed to attend.
Gazzar added that when he accepted the invitation, he agreed with WINEP officials on certain conditions, including that no Israeli officials should attend the conference, since Gazzar does not accept normalization with the Israelis. However, Gazzar adds, WINEP failed to honor this condition, which led to his early departure from Washington without attending the conference.
Earlier, certain newspapers and websites reported that Gazzar ‘escaped’ from Washington, adding that WINEP paid for all his US travel and accommodation costs. But Gazzar explained that before his departure, he paid fully for all his hotel expenses, and expressed willingness to pay for the airline ticket (originally paid for by WINEP before ignoring his attendance conditions).
(This article is an edited translation of an Arabic report published on Egyptian news website ‘Al-Youm Al-Sabea’.)