Last Update 18:1
Monday, 14 October 2019

Muslim Brotherhood figures seek Egypt diplomatic posts

The Muslim Brotherhood is eyeing head of diplomatic mission positions in several capitals, sources say, even though it is not a state body and should claim no privilege

Dina Ezzat, Saturday 19 Jan 2013
Muslim Brotherhood figures seek Egypt diplomatic posts
Egypt's Foreign Ministry Building in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 5056
Views: 5056

The nomination of Mahmoud Mekki, former vice president, to head Egypt’s diplomatic mission in the Vatican this week might be a precedent by which the president would use his legal prerogative to appoint selected non-career diplomats to head some of Egypt’s key diplomatic missions overseas.

The diplomatic corps law grants the president a maximum of 10 head of mission postings to be appointed from outside the diplomatic corps each time nominations requests for heads of missions are issued by the state.

According to sources at the presidency, the foreign ministry, and the Muslim Brotherhood, topping the list of aspiring ambassadors is leading figure of the Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, Essam El-Erian.

El-Erian is eyeing the head of Egypt’s mission in Ankara, a key capital for Egypt under Brotherhood rule. The tenure of current Ambassador to Turkey Abdel-Rahman Salah should come to an end this summer.

Other posts that the Brotherhood appear to be eyeing are also countries with “special rapport” with the Muslim Brotherhood. These include Qatar, to which Egypt sent an ambassador a year ago.

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s ambassador to Doha (he shares the same name as the Egyptian president) sent a written complaint to the foreign ministry in Cairo complaining that he is “mostly uninformed about the ongoings" of bilateral relations between Egypt and Qatar.

The complaint was written following a recent visit to Cairo by Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Ben Jassim of which the Egyptian ambassador knew nothing.

“Things got much worse with the unannounced visits of the head of Qatari intelligence and the Qatari minister of interior to Egypt, on which the Egyptian ambassador to Qatar was uninformed,” said a diplomatic source.

The two consecutive visits of senior Qatari officials caused a furore in the state establishment at large as they were conducted without the notification of Egyptian intelligence or the ministry of interior, and without any meetings between visiting Qatari officials and their Egyptian counterparts.

Khartoum is another post the Mulsim Brotherhood is eyeing, in view of exceptionally close relations between President Morsi and Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir.

The next list of diplomatic nominations is due within the next few weeks. It includes several Arab, European, African, Asian and South American countries.

The direct intervention of the Muslim Brotherhood in the administration of Egyptian foreign policy is infuriating both foreign ministry and intelligence staff.

“It is one thing that non-state political figures use their weight to help with foreign policy matters; it is quite another for matters to be conducted away from the knowledge of state bodies,” said an Egyptian ambassador overseas, who asked to remain anonymous.

“I find it very embarassing to hear of meetings that Muslim Brotherhood figures like Amr Deraj and Khaled Kazaz are holding without even bothering to inform the embassy, even out of courtesy,” he added.

Similar complaints have been made by other heads of Egyptian missions overseas, not just in Arab but also in Western countries.

For their part, intelligence sources complain that so many the decisions that are taken by the Muslim Brotherhood on foreign policy matters reveal a lack of awareness of certain national interest guidelines. According to one, "This is especially the case in relation to the administration of relations in the Gulf."

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

19-01-2013 07:31pm
They are Egyptians, too.
What is wrong with that? Why are the Sons of the Coptic Church doing that? Why are Egyptian communists doing this? Why are secularists doing this? Are not Ikhwan the sons of Egypt, too?
Comment's Title
fairuza cengis
19-01-2013 11:22pm
What is worng with that is that it is a Violation of International Laws and the Laws of Common Decency!
Only YOU MB would dare to try to make back room deals, under the table deals, and misrepresent facts etc to other governments so that is why you are keeping your own appointed current Ambassadors away from these meetings or the knowledge of these meetings. You have no interest in following the rule of law or in common decency because you have no decency at all!

© 2010 Ahram Online.