CAIRO: Arab leaders meeting in Sudan next week should commit to giving Hamas financial support, the head of Egypt s largest Islamic group, the MuslimBrotherhood, said in a statement Thursday.
Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef also called on the upcoming Arab League summit in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to extend political, economic and financial support to the Palestinian government.
The Palestinian Authority s financial status has been precarious since Hamas won a landslide victory in legislative elections in January.
The nation is awaiting definitive decisions on this issue from the meeting (in Khartoum) so that Palestinians can do without the conditional support from the UnitedStates and Western Europe, Akef said, referring to the tying of aid to Hamas recognition of Israel.
Because the Palestinian people chose (Hamas), it s our duty to be with them in the same trench.
The banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood, which won about 20 percent of seats in the Egyptian parliament in elections last year, has been a key source of moral support for Hamas, which is a part of a loose alliance binding Egypt s Brotherhood, founded in 1928, to chapters of the movement across the Arab world.
Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities banned a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood from leaving the country Wednesday, minutes before he was due to board a plane to Bahrain, a source at Cairo airport said. Brotherhood spokesman Issam Al-Aryan had completed the necessary procedures to fly to the Gulf state to attend an Islamic conference, but security officials refused to let him leave, the source added. It was not immediately clear why Aryan was not allowed to travel and he could not be reached for comment. Leading figures in the banned but occasionally tolerated group, which won 20 percent of parliament in polls last year, must apply in advance for permits to leave the country. Members of the Islamist group sometimes get a green light from the interior ministry but are often turned away at the airport. Agencies