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Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
July 16th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Louis family coping after kidnapping

Family members of Michel Louis on their concern for Michel's health after he was kidnapped in Egypt.

Filed under: Egypt
June 25th, 2012
11:34 AM ET

Will Egypt believe Morsi's unity call? Fmr. U.S. asst. Sec. of State Jamie Rubin weighs in

Fmr. U.S. asst. Sec. of State Jamie Rubin on challenges Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi faces running the country.

Filed under: Egypt • Elections
June 20th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

Turmoil in Egypt: Fmr. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer speculates on the country's future in wake more protests, Mubarak failing health, election results

Daniel Kurtzer, fmr. U.S. amb. to Egypt, speculates about Egypt's future in the wake of Mubarak's impending death.


Filed under: Egypt • Elections
June 18th, 2012
01:04 PM ET

What will happen in Egypt if Muslim Brotherhood wins? Jamie Rubin weighs in and looks at the possible future in Greece

Though official results in the Egyptian election won't be in until Thursday, but overnight the Muslim Brotherhood announced their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, won. Morsi's opponent, Ahmed Shafik, maintains votes still need to be tallied.

Jamie Rubin, former U.S. assistant Secretary of State, on what could happen if Morsi wins the election. He also weighs in on

Read the transcript after the jump.


Filed under: Egypt • Greece
May 25th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

Fawaz Gerges: The U.S. 'has very little to fear' from the Muslim Brotherhood

Tensions are high as the Egyptian ballots are counted and the world waits to see who the country's citizens elect as their new president.

While the Muslim Brotherhood claimed a lead in the historic election yesterday, saying that its exit polls show Mohamed Morsi leading the pack of thirteen candidates on the ballot, Morsi isn't expected to win outright.

If no candidate garners 50% of the vote in the country's first round of voting, a run-off between the two leading contenders will be held June 16-17th.

Responding to concerns that the election of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood would not be in America's interest, Fawaz Gerges emphasizes that the United States "has very little to fear" from the Islamist movement on Starting Point this morning.

Gerges, considered a top expert on the Middle East, acknowledges that the pluralistic democracies to be established in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring will not look like the American system.

Gerges says that countries in the Middle East will develop their own models of democracy, emphasizing that he believes that the Islamists in Egypt are looking to Turkey, not Iran, as a model for the democratic system they'd like to establish.

Gerges calls his new book, "Obama and the Middle East," an indictment of American foreign policy while stressing that President Obama was faced with a "bitter inheritance" in international affairs when he took office.

Responding to various sources that have used his book as a negative referendum on Obama's foreign policies, Gerges stresses that "Obama has gone out of his way to try to repair the damage" to America's international relationships.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Egypt
May 23rd, 2012
11:29 AM ET

Rep. Dreier: The U.S. 'looks forward to working with whoever is elected' in Egypt

For the first time in their country’s 5,000 year history, millions of Egyptians are heading to the polls today to cast their first free vote for the country's president. 

Twelve candidates are vying for the position and although it’s unclear who will win, there are four standout candidates that are garnering attention this afternoon.

On Starting Point today, Rep. David Dreier says the United States will be happy to work with whoever the Egyptians choose, because having a democratic system will facilitate what he hopes what will be an even better relationship between Egypt and America.

Rep. Drier, who is in Cairo as an official election monitor, calls the democratic process "inspiring" and stresses that Egypt and the U.S. share an "important strategic relationship."

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Filed under: Egypt
April 2nd, 2012
01:02 PM ET

Members of Muslim Brotherhood explain pledge reversal in offering presidential candidate in Egyptian elections

It was a little more than a year ago when Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down. It seemed the world was with Egypt, as the country tried desperately to formulate its own democrazy. Now, there's a critical development in the presidential elections that has many in the world wondering if the promise of the "Arab Spring" will come to pass.

The Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with a troubled history inside Egypt, has announced it will offer up a presidential candidate.

The brotherhood won the first round of parliamentary elections following last year's uprising, but the group had promised it would not put forth a presidential candidate in next month's elections.

That all changed this weekend, when they announced 62-year-old multi-millionaire businessman Khairat Al-Shater would be their pick for president. He's the Brotherhood's chief strategist and longtime financial backer, who guided the organization from prison when Mubarak was in power.

Some are calling it a power grab. Members of the group itself have quit, calling it an "unprecedented crisis." The U.S. isn't praising or condemning the move, likely because the Brotherhood would immediately challenge one of the rising candidates: An islamic conservative who, among other things, has called for an end of the treaty with Israel and has questioned whether women should work outside the home.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Soledad talks to two members of the Brotherhood: Sondos Asem, editor of Ikhwanweb, an English language web site for the group, and Dr. Abdel Mawgood Al Darderi, a member of parliament from the Freedom and Justice party, the Brotherhood's political wing.

Soledad asked them as to the reason for the sudden reversal on their previous pledge not to put up a candidate for the presidency.

"We feel that the current candidates, they lack some leadership potential that would bring about stability in Egypt and in our international relations," Asem says. "We believe there is some type of leadership vacuum among the current candidates, and we feel that we now have historic responsibility to feel the candidate who we believe will provide this kind of responsible leadership and who will safeguard the democratic process, which we feel now is threatened by many attempts to dissolve the current parliament or to hinder the establishment of the current assembly."

Will Cain also asked if the Brotherhood was essentially saying two things at once on their intentions. "One of the charges that is often made against the brotherhood when you do what do you now is you make a tour around the country you say things to us in English you would be opposed to female genital mutilation but in Egyptian you speak the option. Which is the truth?"

"We expect that conspiracy theory is somewhat of the third world, not in the United States," Dr. Al Darderi said "We would like to believe one another. I got a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. This is what we believe in, and look what we did in the past and what we want. We participated in the revolution in Egypt to create the democracy rule of law and justice for all Egyptians and that is what we focus on."

"We would like to bring about economic stability," Asem adds. "We would like to bring about security and we want to build sustainable democratic institutions and this is what the Egyptian people want. The Egyptian people now are not preoccupied with any confrontation or any kind of instable relations with the outside world."

Filed under: Egypt
March 6th, 2012
11:42 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Sam Lahood, son of Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood, on returning to U.S. after being charged in Egypt

Sam LaHood explains what he was charged with in Egypt and discusses the detention of himself and his coworkers.

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Filed under: Egypt
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