US angers Egypt with Muslim Brotherhood visit

Egypt criticized a meeting Sunday that included four US members of Congress and the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's bloc in Parliament, accusing the US of having double standards for meeting with the banned Egyptian group but refusing to meet with the militant Palestinian group Hamas. The congressional delegation, headed by North Carolina Democrat David Price, held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak early Sunday before heading to Parliament to meet a group of lawmakers that included the Brotherhood's Mohammed Saad el-Katatni. "The United States says that it doesn't establish relations with a banned group, whether in Egypt or outside Egypt," said Mubarak's spokesman Suleiman Awaad. "The US says it is meeting with the Brotherhood as Parliament members, but doesn't make the same distinction and refuses to talk with Hamas, who is heading the Palestinian government and is occupying the prime minister's seat." Neither the US Embassy in Cairo nor the congressional delegation were immediately available for comment.