The Reform Party in Syria has protested the administration's meetings
with the Brotherhood. RPS, regarded as one of the most pro-Western elements
in the Syrian opposition, said Washington was signaling its endorsement of
the Brotherhood's goal to make Syria into an Islamic state rather than a
democracy that would foster its large minority community of Alawites,
Christians and Kurds.
"This ill-advised policy of the U.S. State Department will have dire
consequences, not only for the future of Syria, but also through an
immediate increase in violence and the strengthening of the Assad base," RPS
said on Sept. 23.
On Sept. 24, the council, regarded as a lobbyist for the Brotherhood,
held a meeting in Anaheim, Calif. to discuss a post-Assad Syria. The session
was addressed by U.S. special envoy Frederic Hof, responsible for U.S.
policy on Damascus.
"As Syrian-Americans we stand in solidarity with the peaceful protestors
in Syria who are giving their lives daily in the pursuit of freedom and
liberty," Ms. Misto said.
This marked at least the second session between the State Department and
the Brotherhood in as many months. The first meeting was headed by Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton and excluded members of the secular Syrian
Hof was said to have met Najib Ghadban, a member of the Syrian National
Council and a political science professor at the University of Arkansas. The
meeting was endorsed by the Brotherhood-aligned Council on American-Islamic