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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood rejects ‘battle for energy’, exiled chief says By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Egyptian protesters and Muslim Brotherhood members shout slogans in opposition to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the federal government throughout an indication protesting the federal government’s determination to switch two Purple Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in entrance of

By Dominic Evans

LONDON (Reuters) – Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood is not going to launch a brand new battle for energy with authorities which toppled it from authorities 9 years in the past, regardless that the motion nonetheless claims broad assist, its performing chief mentioned.

The as soon as formidable Islamist motion gained Egypt’s first free presidential election in 2012, however was overthrown by the navy a 12 months later after mass protests in opposition to its rule and has endured a fierce crackdown by authorities since then.

Lots of its leaders and hundreds of its supporters are in jail or have fled Egypt, and the group has been excluded from a political dialogue to be launched quickly by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as the military chief deposed the Brotherhood in 2013.

Cairo has designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, however performing chief Ibrahim Munir reiterated the group’s long-standing rejection of violence.

He additionally appeared to rule out difficult for energy by the poll field – one thing the group is unable to do straight whereas it stays banned in Egypt, though it did discipline impartial candidates in parliamentary elections up to now.

“We fully reject (violence) and we contemplate it outdoors the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood – not solely using violence and arms, however to have a battle for energy in Egypt in any kind,” Munir informed Reuters in an interview.

“We reject the battle for energy even when between political events by elections organised by the state. That is completely rejected by us.”

Munir, 85, who was twice jailed in Egypt within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties and has lived in exile for many of the final 40 years, mentioned the Brotherhood had survived tough occasions earlier than however was now experiencing the hardest interval because it was based greater than 90 years in the past.

He mentioned it was not clear what number of Brotherhood supporters have been in jail in Egypt, although he cited some estimates that put the numbers round 5,000 and 6,000. Many, he mentioned, had additionally had their cash confiscated.

Egypt’s state press centre didn’t reply to a request for remark. Officers deny holding political prisoners and say that safety measures taken in opposition to the Brotherhood have been essential to stabilise the nation.

“Positively this time is harder than earlier occasions and former ordeals,” Munir mentioned.

Munir himself took the mantle of performing chief two years in the past as a result of the Brotherhood’s basic information, or chief, has been in jail for the reason that group misplaced energy in 2013 and his preliminary successor was then detained in 2020.

Munir acknowledged that the Brotherhood had skilled inner division over how to answer the disaster, and {that a} new chief can be chosen “when the state of affairs stabilises”.

REGIONAL SHIFTS

Compounding the Brotherhood’s challenges, shifting Center East diplomacy has seen two international locations which supplied refuge to Brotherhood supporters within the final decade – Turkey and Qatar – mending relations with an axis of states dedicated to crushing the group – Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey final 12 months requested Egyptian opposition tv channels working on its territory to average criticism of the Cairo authorities because it tries to rebuild relations with Egypt.

Munir mentioned the Brotherhood had not but come underneath stress in Turkey. “To this point we don’t see or really feel it however it’s the proper of the Turkish state to do something that ensures its peace and the safety of its folks,” he mentioned.

Inside Egypt the motion, which over a long time developed a community of charitable organisations, nonetheless enjoys the sympathy of most of the nation’s 102 million folks, Munir mentioned.

He mentioned the political dialogue anticipated to start out inside weeks between Sisi’s authorities and chosen opposition teams shouldn’t be a severe initiative and can’t obtain outcomes if it excludes the Muslim Brotherhood or different figures.

“Dialogue is basically wanted however it has to incorporate everybody,” mentioned Munir.

The chair of the dialogue has mentioned that the Brotherhood couldn’t participate as a result of that they had “blood on their arms”.

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