Brotherhood has 'clear links' to terrorism, says Egypt FM

Ahram Online, Monday 3 Nov 2014

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry says he is surprised some foreign governments do not acknowledge the Muslim Brotherhood's'clear links' to terrorism in Egypt

 Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a news conference with his Italian counterpart Federica Mogherini at the Egyptian foreign ministry in Cairo, Friday, July 18, 2014 (Photo: AP)

The Muslim Brotherhood has "clear links" to terrorist attacks in Egypt, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said.

Speaking to journalists at a joint Egyptian-Ethiopian committee in Addis Ababa, Shoukry said he was surprised some states do not acknowledge these links, state news agency MENA reported on Monday.

Deadly attacks on police and army targets have been on the rise over the past year, expanding to Cairo and the Nile Delta after being mostly concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula. Civilians have also been caught up in the violence.   

The Brotherhood, which has continually protested against the government since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, has said it remains committed to peaceful opposition.

Shoukry said a British probe into the Brotherhood's activities in its territory might lead to a "different approach" from the UK.

There must be an "international approach" to eradicating terrorism, he added.

He said the issue goes beyond ISIS, which has taken over areas of Iraq and Syria. The US has formed a coalition with ten Arab states to combat the radical Islamist militant group.

Shoukry reiterated that Egypt, which is part of the coalition, will utilise its religious institutions to impact the ability of such groups to recruit new fighters and to "dry up" funding sources.

Egypt has been facing a decade-long jihadist insurgency in Sinai. Hundreds of police and military forces have been killed over the past year and the army has killed and arrested hundreds of alleged militants.

There is speculation that ISIS has links with jihadist groups in Sinai, where the army is creating a buffer zone along the border with Gaza and has imposed a three-month state of emergency.  

Ethiopia dam discussions

Meanwhile, Shoukry said the technical committee delegated to study the effects of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Project had "overcome long-standing difficulties."

He said the potential harmful effects of the dam were not only related to its construction, but also to technical issues such as filling the reservoir or the amount of water needed for generating power – issues that could be solved.

Ethiopia, which has completed 40 percent of the $4.2 billion project, has previously delivered several studies on the safety and design of the dam.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, which have been engaged in talks for months on the issue, are expected to choose an international firm to conduct further studies on the dam by December.

Shoukry arrived in Ethiopia on Sunday to attend the fifth session of the joint Egyptian-Ethiopian talks.

Ministers from both countries are discussing political, economic and commercial means to enhance the interests of the two countries.

The two countries have been embroiled since last year in disagreement over the construction of the dam in Ethiopia, but have recently started a process to resolve points of contention between them.    

Egypt will likely need an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050 – on top of its current 55 billion cubic metre quota – to meet the water needs of a projected population of 150 million, according to Egypt's National Planning Institute.


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