One senior U.S. official said the Brotherhood’s rise in political prominence after the forced departure of former President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year makes the American contact necessary.

“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing… It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency,” said the official, who confirmed the news to Reuters on condition of anonymity…

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mohamed Saad el-Katatni told Reuters that no American contact with the group has yet been made, but he added: “We welcome such relationships with everyone because those relations will lead to clarifying our vision.”