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Egypt asks European govts to stop broadcasting Brotherhood-linked TV channels

Egyptian foreign ministry asks European ambassadors to monitor “extremist websites”, and not to deal with Brotherhood-affiliated groups

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Feb 2015
Hatem Seif El-Nasr
Foreign minister Aide Hatem Seif El-Nasr (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt's foreign ministry called on European countries on Tuesday to “monitor extremist websites that incite violence and terrorism, and to halt broadcasting channels linked to the Muslim Brotherhood."

In a meeting with the European ambassadors, the minister's aide for European affairs Hatem Seif El-Nasr asked representatives to deliver messages to their governments “not to deal with the illegitimate groups affiliated to the terrorist organisation", according to a press release emailed to Ahram Online.

Egypt outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood organisation in December 2013, shortly after the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July of that year.

Seif El-Nasr said that the meeting, which comes less than a week after an attack in North Sinai that killed at least 30 people, aimed to inform the international community of the reality of conditions in Egypt.

He said the attack is part of the country's ongoing war against terrorism, and will only increase the Egyptians' determination to move forward with the country’s political roadmap.

Last Thursday's bombings in North Sinai are believed to have been the deadliest in recent times, although an official death toll has not been disclosed. The attack was claimed by the Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, who are now part of regional militant group Islamic State.

"Terrorist groups are governed by a single radical ideology that stems from Muslim Brotherhood ideology since its inception in 1928," Seif El-Nasr was quoted as saying in the press release.

Egypt has announced it supports the US-led international coalition to fight the Islamic State but would not play any direct military role. Instead, Cairo has reiterated it contributes to the fight against jihadists by spreading moderate Islamic thought to counter extremism through its prestigious Sunni Islam institution of Al-Azhar.

Seif El-Nasr referred to the latest extremist attacks in Europe, where 17 people were killed in a series of shootings in France, as evidence that terrorism is an international woe.

He said the response should be security, military confrontation, exchange of information, countering the radical ideology, and cutting the militant groups' access to funding.

In the meeting, foreign ministry distributed video footage and text documents summarising the evidence that "terrorist groups and their affiliated media channels" incite violence and killing.

On Sunday, the foreign ministry also issued two statements urging countries to shut down television channels linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and not to deal with groups affiliated to the organisation.

Egypt says that the channels, which it did not name in the statement, are aired on France's Eutelsat.

Channels backing the Brotherhood on Eutelsat include Mekamileen and Masr Al-Aan, which are also accessible through Egypt's Nilesat.

Egypt has blamed the group of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi for the mounting violence and has designated the Islamist group as a terrorist organisation.

The Brotherhood has regularly denied any link to violence. 

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