Brotherhood party disavows El-Erian comments on UAE

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Jun 2013

Freedom and Justice Party leader says comments by Essam El-Erian MP on Egyptian political prisoners in United Arab Emirates do not represent official party position

Essam El-Erian
Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party leader Essam el-Erian (Photo: AP)

Saad El-Katatni, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), has said comments by Essam El-Erian on Egyptian political prisoners in the UAE do not represent the party's official position.

During a debate on Arab relations in the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, FJP MP El-Erian warned that “Egypt has lost its patience” over Egyptians being detained in UAE prisons, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Speaking to Deputy Foreign Minister Ali El-Esheiry, El-Erian added, “Tell [the UAE] that nuclear Iran is coming...The Persians are coming, not the Egyptians, and you will become slaves of the Persians.”     

Emirati political analyst Salem Hemeid said El-Erian's statements could damage relations between Egypt and the UAE.

Relations between Egypt and the UAE have been strained since the January 2011 revolution.

In January, the UAE arrested 11 Egyptians thought to have links with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

They were accused of collecting sensitive information and of having links to UAE nationals who had been detained on suspicion of plotting against the country's national security.

In February, President Mohamed Morsi dispatched top officials to negotiate the release of Egyptian prisoners in the UAE and to ease tensions between the nations.

In April, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan ordered the release of 103 Egyptians detained in the UAE.  

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