A leading member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group said Tuesday that the door is open for dialogue with the "presidency of the Egyptian regime" without preconditions.
This came in a letter written by Youssef Nada in response to signals in remarks made Saturday by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi regarding the group.
No statement was issued by the Brotherhood regarding Nada's message, but Brotherhood sources said the message was expected to be published on the group's platforms later Tuesday.
On Saturday, al-Sisi said live on air at a meeting to launch a national strategy for human rights in the country for the first time that “society over the past 90 to 100 years has been imbued with a specific thought,” referring to the age of thought of the Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928.
"I am not disagreeing with these people, but on the condition that they respect my path and do not intersect with me and do not target me...I will accept their thought. But do not impose it on me, and do not pressure me with it -- not me as a person, but on Egypt and the society," he added.
Commenting on al-Sisi's statements, Nada said in his letter: "Many questions were posed by the media talk of the head of the Egyptian regime on the occasion of the announcement of the [National Human Rights Strategy] project."
"The whole world knows that the Brotherhood has not imposed its ideology on anyone for the past 90 years," he said.
He went on to say that the group’s thought stemmed from the motive to serve the homeland.
"Opening a dialogue with the presidency of the Egyptian regime currently, as its message suggests, requires ending the suffering of imprisoned women and men and the suffering of their families.”
The Egyptian authorities assert that they do not have political prisoners and those on trial are subject to the law, rejecting international human rights criticism in this regard.
"Let the beginning of the work of the new national strategy [for human rights] be the implementation of what is stipulated in Article 241 of the Egyptian Constitution [issuing the transitional justice law]," said Nada.
Article 241 states: “In its first session after the enforcement of this Constitution, the House of Representatives commits to issuing a transitional justice law that ensures revealing the truth, accountability, proposing frameworks for national reconciliation, and compensating victims, in accordance with international standards.”
Nada concluded his message, saying: "We have learned in politics that setting preconditions spoils dialogue, so I say that the door is open...and perhaps God will do something after that."
It was not immediately possible to obtain comments from the Egyptian authorities regarding Nada’s letter, but since late 2013, Cairo has classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a “banned terrorist group,” and most of its cadres and leaders, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, are in prison pending sentences related to "terrorism and incitement,” charges that the group has often denied.