Talk about peace: Truth behind state-Islamist reconciliation talks remains blurry, as does the potential of an inclusive politics

The political future of Islamist groups in Egypt is still up in the air, as rumors of closed-door meetings ahead of the parliamentary elections prompt both Islamists and government officials to vigorously deny that their relationship is on the mend.


It's not just Brotherhood members holding out an olive branch; state officials have been trying to negotiate with Islamist forces throughout the past year, claims Khaled al-Sherif, spokesperson for the Egyptian Revolutionary Council umbrella group headed by Brotherhood members abroad.

Speaking via telephone from Turkey, Sherif says, “There have been no direct negotiations with the Brotherhood and the regime, but rather the regime had many mediators, including leaders in the Jama’a al-Islamiya, [Political Science] Professor Hassan Nafaa and [Islamist thinker] Ahmed Kamal Abul Magd.”

Sisi is the one who holds the key to any reconciliation, he insists.