Egypt. A delegation of representatives from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) will visit the United States this week. In media appearances and meetings with civil society organizations, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, Hussain el-Kazaz, Khaled Qazzaz, and Sondos Asem will explain the FJP’s vision for Egypt and this weekend’s announcement that leading Muslim Brotherhood member Khairat al-Shater will run for president. A spokesperson for the delegation has said they do not plan to meet with U.S. government officials on this trip.
Syria. Joint U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan briefed the UN Security Council in a closed session Monday on the progress of his mission to Syria and the prospects for peace. Annan’s plan to end the crisis called for the Syrian government to lay down its arms first so that talks with the opposition can begin. He said Syria agreed to the idea of an April 10 deadline for partial implementation of the plan, including withdrawal of weapons and troops from population centers. Annan hopes for a full ceasefire by next Thursday.
Qatar. Starting this Tuesday, Afghan foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul will be the first senior government minister to visit Qatar following the Taliban’s January announcement that it would open an office there to facilitate dialogue. Rassoul will spend two days meeting Qatari officials to “discuss reconciliation and talks with the Taliban.”