Dreier calls on US to work with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt

In an answer to his own question, Dreier said it would be wrong for the United States to pull away from Egypt simply because it is now led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

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"How can we preach democracy, and yet shun the free and fair choices of Egyptians?" he asked. Dreier added that democracy is more than just elections, and is also about protecting all citizens. He said it would be a mistake to back away from Egypt now.

"We also have to recognize that supporting only democracies around the world that produce our own preferred results is the height of hypocrisy," he said. "Refusing to engage with the Muslim Brotherhood would simply achieve a self-fulfilling prophecy by giving rise to extremists over reformists and moderates."

Dreier said that from his visits to Egypt, he has found that the Brotherhood is made up of all types of people, and said it would be a mistake to cast them all as having the same motivation.

"What I have found is a vast movement that is far from monolithic," he said. "It is made up of moderates and hard-liners, reformers and the old guard, and great internal differences exist."

He also said the Brotherhood has shown that it has the capacity to act as a governing group now that it is no longer an underground movement.

"Now that the Brotherhood has at least taken some of the responsibility of righting the economy and providing opportunity for 85 million Egyptians, it will face enormous pressure to pursue a reform agenda, engage appropriately with the West, and eschew regional conflict," he said.

So far, at least, there is little risk that the United States will not engage and work with Egypt's new leaders. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the administration would work with them, and said the bilateral relationship would depend in large part on how Egypt treats religious and other minorities.

To deepen the bilateral connections, Dreier said he has introduced a House resolution calling for the negotiation of a U.S.-Egypt free trade agreement to help Egypt as it tries to improve its economy.