Pic of the day: The Ambassador and the Guide

From today's cover (top fold) of al-Tahrir newspaper, a pic of US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson shaking hands with General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Muhammad Badie, at his offices. This is the first time a US official has met, at least in an official capacity, a General Guide of the Muslim Brothers. More on the meeting in this Ikhwanweb article. The US message seems to have been centered on concern about the Egyptian economy and the need for a quick infusion of IMF cash. The US Embassy did not issue a press release on the visit, despite its custom of doing so on other occasions – it appears the MB is more interested in publicizing this than the US. In the past few weeks, Badie has met with John Kerry, William Burns and Jimmy Carter. The US had previously avoided meeting with any senior Muslim Brothers unless they were elected MPs.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.