World News

Muslim Brotherhood rejects Saudi terror accusations

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood, in its first reaction to the Gulf crisis on Wednesday, rejected what is said were false accusations of terrorism by Saudi Arabia.

In statement on its website, the world’s oldest Islamist movement called on the kingdom to cease its support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and not to listen to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates, whom it called corrupt and oppressive.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, partly over the tiny Gulf monarchy’s alleged support for Islamist groups such as the Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Tuesday Qatar needed to take several steps, including ending its support of Palestinian Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, to restore ties with other key Arab states.

“The Kingdom’s insistence on backing the obscene putschist (Egyptian) regime, providing it with financial and political support, attacking the moderate Islamist movement represented in the Muslim Brotherhood, and accusing it of terrorism, puts the Kingdom’s credibility at stake,” the Brotherhood said.

Egypt’s military, then led by Sisi, ousted former President Mohamed Mursi, a Brotherhood leader, from power in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. The move was backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“Do not listen to the princes of oppression and injustice in the UAE, those corrupt men are a plague on the (Islamic) nation and the Kingdom both. They are the cohorts of Zionists and finances of oppression and obscenity,” the group said.

The Brotherhood, a global organisation which started in Egypt in 1928, has experienced splits ever since it lost power in its country of origin. The statement came from a Cairo-based wing.

Reporting by Mostafa Hashem; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Giles Elgood