The world must intensify cooperation to fight terrorism, said Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty on Monday, as he welcomed the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) decision to list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.
The UAE issued a new law on Saturday which brands 83 groups as terrorist organisations, including the UAE branch of the Brotherhood, Islamist groups in Europe, and Egypt-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.
“Egypt welcomes the UAE government’s decision to include a number of organisations on the list of terrorist organisations,” Abdelatty said. He pointed to the “outstanding coordination and cooperation” between Egypt and UAE “in all fields, including in the fight against terrorism”.
Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, Egypt experienced a period of intense and violent clashes between the former president’s supporters and the security forces. Violence occurred around the country and included the burning down of churches and attacks on security forces and infrastructure.
The Islamist group has denied involvement in acts of terrorism and violence.
The Brotherhood was labelled a terrorist organisation in December 2013 by the Egyptian cabinet, a decision that was ratified by a court ruling in February 2014. Following the ruling, Egypt’s Gulf ally Saudi Arabia listed the Brotherhood as a terror group and Egypt sought the activation of the Arab League terrorism convention to compel other Arab nations to follow suit.
The classification of the group has caused some tension between the Gulf nations, escalating in March when Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar, which is perceived to be a supporter of the Brotherhood. These envoys were returned to Qatar on Sunday following a meeting of Gulf nations in Riyadh.
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a review “into the philosophy, activities, impact and influence on UK national interests, at home and abroad, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of government policy towards the organisation”. While the official findings of the report have not been released, the Brotherhood’s lawyers informed them that the review “cleared them of any links to acts of terrorism”.
The UK and the United States both labelled Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis a terrorist organisation earlier this year.