US keeps eye on MB following Mubarak’s ousting
A recent article published in Reuters has stated that the United States is keeping a close watch on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to see what kind of influence it might wield in the next government. According to the US intelligence chief the US fears the group opposes Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
It also voiced its reservations that intelligence officials feared what they described were extremist elements in the MB while the Obama administration was working to reshape its agenda for Egypt and the broader Middle East as anti-government protests inspired by revolts behind the fall of rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.
Washington was slow to express support for protesters’ democratic aspirations fearing it would unnerve Saudi Arabia and Israel who were key regional allies. According to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates the popular revolution was a matter for diplomacy, and not for U.S. military involvement.
The US and Israel however have been vocal about concerns that the MB, might take advantage of any political vacuum in Cairo.
According to the article Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta Leon Panetta has stated the agency was closely watching the MB as the political situation in Egypt takes shape.
Panetta told the Senate Select Intelligence Committee she believed there were extremist elements in the group and that they had to pay attention to make sure they are not able to exert their influence on the directions of governments in that region.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also claimed there was U.S. concern fearing there may be the Brotherhood’s disdain for Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel adding Mubarak had been committed to keeping the peace with the Jewish state.