Tag Archives: Arab States of the Persian Gulf

Sisi in Riyadh to congratulate Saudi royals

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has paid a short visit Saturday to Saudi Arabia, coming in the wake of a major reshuffle in the kingdom’s royal court.

The visit, that lasted less than 90 minutes, comes in the framework of continuous coordination and consulting between the two countries, Egypt’s ambassador to Riyadh Afify Abdel Wahab told state media.

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman welcomed Al-Sisi upon his arrival.

Al-Sisi congratulated King Salman bin Abdul Aziz for the appointment of bin Nayef and bin Salman, as the two leaders discussed regional and international developments, Saudi state news agency reported.

Al-Sisi was accompanied by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Head of General Intelligence Service (GIS) Khaled Fawzy, Head of the President’s Office Abbas Kamel, and ambassador Abdel Wahab.

King Salman executed a major reshuffle in his country’s administration on Wednesday, replacing his Crown Prince, the  Foreign Minister and naming his son as Deputy Crown Prince.

Bin Nayef is the former defence minister and incumbent interior minister, who is known for having strong ties with the US, where he was educated. He also has well-known ties to the security forces, and will be the first grandson of the founding king Abdul Aziz to lead the kingdom, if the current line of succession remains unchanged.

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UAE labeled Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization

EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST-TRIAL

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has labeled Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization– following the example of neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates has thrown its support behind neighboring Saudi Arabia’s decision to label the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, increasing Gulf Arab pressure on the Islamist group.

Saudi Arabia  on Friday listed the 86-year-old Brotherhood along with several other groups, including Al Qaeda affiliates, as terrorist organizations on Friday. Those who join or support the groups could face five to 30 years in prison under the new Saudi policy.

The Gulf moves against the Brotherhood follow an Egyptian decision to label it a terrorist organization in December.

Cairo based its accusation mainly on a series of deadly bomb attacks that it says the Brotherhood orchestrated. The Brotherhood denies the accusations. Egyptian authorities have produced little evidence showing a direct Brotherhood link that is open to public scrutiny, and most of the attacks have been claimed by a Sinai-based militant group.

The Western-allied UAE, a seven-state federation that includes the cosmopolitan business hub of Dubai, said it will cooperate with Saudi Arabia to tackle “those terrorist groups through liquidating all forms of material and moral support.”

“The significant step taken by (Saudi Arabia) in this critical moment requires concerted efforts and joint collective work to address the security and stability challenges that threaten the destiny of the Arab and Muslim nation,” the UAE said in a statement carried by official news agency WAM late Saturday.

The Saudi terrorist designation also blacklisted Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen and its former affiliate in Iraq, the Syrian al-Nusra Front, Hezbollah within the kingdom and Yemen’s Shiite Hawthis.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two largest Arab economies, have increasingly clamped down on the Brotherhood in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.

They along with the tiny kingdom of Bahrain last week withdrew their ambassadors from nearby Qatar to protest what they saw as its failure to uphold a deal to stop interfering in other nations’ politics and supporting organizations that threaten the Gulf’s stability. Analysts say the move in large part reflects Qatar’s support for the Brotherhood and its supporters.

The Emirates has jailed dozens of people allegedly linked to Brotherhood-affiliated groups on state security charges over the past year. It accuses Islamist groups of trying to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

The nation’s top court last week sentenced a Qatari doctor to seven years and two Emiratis to five years in prison for collaborating with an illegal Islamist group. The same court in January convicted 30 men, most of them Egyptian, of setting up an illegal Brotherhood branch in the UAE. They received prison terms ranging from three months to five years.

Another 69 people were last year sentenced to up to 15 years behind bars after being convicted of links to Al-Islah, an Islamist group suspected of ideological ties to the Brotherhood.

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Terror-link group” Muslim Brotherhood – Hamas” met in British parliament – Telegraph

A group with undeclared links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the terror group Hamas has been holding meetings at the Houses of Parliament.

Separately, it can also be revealed that one of the Government’s police and crime commissioners will this week speak on the same platform as a man who has justified the killing of British troops and called for democracy to be replaced by Sharia.

The Commons events — held in March and September — involving the group with links to Hamas were organised by the Emirates Centre for Human Rights (ECHR), which says it is a moderate campaign against rights abuses in the Gulf. However, part of its agenda appears to be anticipating the end of the regimes in the region.

The main speaker at the meeting was Christopher Davidson, author of a book about the “coming collapse of the Gulf monarchies”.

The ECHR is fronted by a young white British man, Rori Donaghy. It makes no mention on its website or in any other publicity of its close links with the Islamist Cordoba Foundation, described by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, as a “political front for the Muslim Brotherhood”.

However, The Telegraph has established that the ECHR’s website is registered to Malath Skahir, a former director of the Cordoba Foundation.

via Terror-link group met in parliament – Telegraph.

UPDATE 1-S&P raises Egypt ratings to B- from CCC+ | Reuters

Nov 15 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s Ratings has raised its sovereign credit ratings for Egypt to ‘B-/B’ from ‘CCC+/C’, saying it expected the support from other countries which has propped up government finances to continue.

The military-backed government welcomed the move as a first step towards restoring confidence in an economy hammered by political turmoil that has weighed on investment and tourism for nearly three years.

The upgrade in its long and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings reflects S&P’s view that authorities have secured sufficient foreign currency funding to manage Egypt’s short-term fiscal and external financing needs.

Gulf Arab states have pledged $12 billion in financial support to Egypt since the army deposed president Mohamed Mursi on July 3 following mass protests against his rule.

“We expect support from bilateral lenders to continue over the medium term as the Egyptian authorities try to address the country’s political and economic challenges,” S&P said in a statement.

The outlook is stable.

The three main international ratings agencies have been cutting Egypt’s credit rating steadily since the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

Finance Minister Ahmed Galal said in a statement this was the first improvement in their assessment since they began coverage of Egypt’s finances in the 1990s.

UPDATE 1-S&P raises Egypt ratings to B- from CCC+ | Reuters.