From CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott
WASHINGTON (CNN) – For nearly three quarters of a century, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned from Egyptian politics and shunned by the West as a fundamentalist Islamic movement.
But this week the Brotherhood sent its first official delegation to Washington, meeting with high level administration officials.
The visit was part of a global goodwill tour to soften the group’s image and introduce its political faction, the Freedom and Justice Party, which emerged from the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak to capture nearly half the seats in Egypt’s new parliament.
“We are here to start building bridges of understanding with the United States," Sondos Asem, a member of the party's foreign relations committee and editor of its official English-language website, told students at Georgetown University. "We acknowledge the very important role of the United States in the world and we would like our relations with the United States to be better than before."