Snubbed by Cameron, Egypt Islamists signal intent

Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:45pm GMT

* Brotherhood to found "Freedom and Justice Party"

* Visiting British PM snubs group

* Says membership open to all Egyptians

By Tom Perry and Mohammed Abbas

CAIRO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood said on Monday it will set up the "Freedom and Justice Party" to run in elections, underlining its move into the heart of Egyptian politics as it was snubbed by Britain's prime minister.

The Islamist group emerged from years of suppression by President Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's only real political force.

It has been playing an ever more assertive role since he was toppled from power on Feb. 11. The United States, which has expressed concerns about "extremist elements" in the group, is keeping close watch to see what kind of clout it might wield.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who on Monday became the first foreign leader to visit the post-Mubarak Egypt, said he did not meet the group because he wanted young people to see there was an alternative to "extreme" Islamist opposition.   Continued...

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