State Dept. met with affiliates of Muslim Brotherhood prior to call for violent Jihad

Egyptian security forces fire in the Cairo suburb of Matariyah, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 in a clash with supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. (AP photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A recent meeting between the U.S. State Department and some Egyptians affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood has sparked a lot of debate - especially because just days after that meeting, the brotherhood called for a violent Jihad.

When the Arab Spring grabbed the world's attention almost four years ago, so did the group known as the Muslim Brotherhood - which briefly had control in Egypt, but was later ousted through a coup and has been labeled a terrorist group by Egypt's new president.

"These are the people that want to kill the current president and it's just not good diplomacy to meet with a group that wants to do that when we're also trying to have a good relationship with our allies in Egypt," observed Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Although it is not unheard of for the U.S. government to keep an open dialogue with controversial factions, there has been plenty of fallout from the State Dept. meeting.

A State Dept. spokesperson was asked by reporters Monday about officials' comfort level with what happened after the meeting, when brotherhood leaders called for violence by urging "a long, uncompromising Jihad."

"There are no concerns about what the people who were here did afterwards?" asked a reporter. Replied the State Deptartment's Jen Psaki: "Well, nothing has changed about our decision to have a meeting, no."

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