Obama Invites Egypt's Islamist Leader Mohammed Morsi to U.S.

Move reflects shift in Washington's policy to open formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group behind Morsi's win but from whom he formally resigned.

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U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Egypt's newly elected Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, to visit the United States in September, an Egyptian official said on Sunday, reflecting the new ties Washington is cultivating with the region's Islamists.

"President Obama extended an invitation to President Morsi to visit the United States when he attends the UN General Assembly in September," Egyptian aide, Yasser Ali, said after Morsi met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

Burns did not mention the invitation at a news conference earlier.

Washington, long wary of Islamists and an ally of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, shifted policy last year to open formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, the group behind Morsi's win. Morsi formally resigned from the group when he won the presidency.

On Thursday, Morsi appointed a fact-finding committee to investigate the killing of protesters since the outbreak of last year's popular uprising. The decree orders a review of the investigations and trials related to the killing of nearly 1,000 protesters from Jan. 25, 2011, until June 30, 2012, when the new president was sworn-in.

The new 16-member committee is tasked with reopening files from the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak and those who died in clashes with police and soldiers in protests after Feb. 11, 2011, when Mubarak stepped down and a ruling council of generals took power.

Egypt's official MENA news agency said judges, a state prosecutor, a general and a top police commander along with six representatives of victims' families were appointed to the committee. The group is to report its findings to the president within two months.

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives on the South Lawn of the White House on July 6, 2012.Credit: AP



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