UK ministers split over Muslim Brotherhood report

UK ministers split over Muslim Brotherhood report

 

The British government has denied a report in The Financial Times that the publication of an investigation into Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has been delayed because of cabinet disagreements among ministers over its findings.

 

In April Prime Minister David Cameron asked Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia to conduct an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood, including allegations of links to extremism and its impact on British national security.

 

The Financial Times, citing official sources, claimed the report had found that the Brotherhood should not be labelled a terrorist organisation and had found little evidence its members were involved in terrorist activities. Ministers, however, afraid of a backlash from allies in the Middle East have allegedly stalled the publication of the report.

 

A government spokeswoman said, “The review into the Muslim Brotherhood hasn’t been delayed. The main findings were completed by July, as per the Prime Minister’s request, and work is now underway across government to consider the implications of these findings.”

 

The Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said the government would make the findings public “in due course” but that it had never set out a timeframe for doing so.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood, once Egypt’s oldest, best organised and most successful political movement, had seen hundreds of its members killed and thousands detained since then-army chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi overthrew elected president and Brotherhood member Mohamed Mursi 13 months ago, following weeks of violent protest.

 

The United Kingdom exports weapons with an estimated value of 15 billion euros to several countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Israel.

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