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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08CAIRO489 2008-03-12 08:02:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
Cable title:  

CONVERSATION WITH MFA ON RECENT DETENTIONS OF MB

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM EG 
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VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0489 0720802
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 120802Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8498
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000489 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/11/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM EG
SUBJECT: CONVERSATION WITH MFA ON RECENT DETENTIONS OF MB
MEMBERS

REF: CAIRO 448

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Stuart Jones
Reasons: 1.4 (B) and (D)



1. (C) DCM raised the recent arrests of approximately 450-700
Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliated Egyptians with MFA
Assistant Minister for American Affairs Hatem Saif el Nasser
on March 11. During a courtesy call for visiting NEA PDAS
Jeff Feltman, we told Nasser that the timing of the arrests,
ahead of the local elections, will cloud international
perceptions. The MB is loved neither by the USG nor the GOE,
but the elections are constitutionally important in the
lead-up to the 2011 presidential election and presidential
succession. The Administration, Congress, human rights
groups, and the media are all watching the conduct of the
local council elections closely.



2. (C) Nasser said he would relay the message. He offered
his personal opinion that he "could not imagine life with the
MB in control," saying that "88 members in parliament have
"given us enough problems already. They have such closed
minds and they fill me with fear." That said, Nasser
recognized that it is up to the Egyptian government to
compete with the MB in the democratic arena and foster a fair
and transparent process. However, the MB was "finding the
cracks" by hiding under a veil of piety, and taking political
advantage of economic pressures facing the average Egyptian.



3. (U) Bio note: Nasser was recently assigned to be the next
Egyptian ambassador to Great Britain.
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