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Saudi, US pressures behind Qatari move on Brotherhood: Source

September 14, 2014 at 10:59 am

An Egyptian diplomatic source has cited Saudi and American pressures for a recent Qatari move to expel seven Muslim Brotherhood figures from the country.

“Saudi and U.S. pressures were behind the Qatari decision,” the high-level source told Anadolu Agency.

The source said that diplomats from Saudi Arabia and some Gulf states had held talks with their Qatari counterparts to urge them to take “serious” stances against some Brotherhood leaders.

According to the source, the U.S. administration also piled pressures on Qatari authorities to move against the Brotherhood in the wake of threats posed by the Islamic State militant group to U.S. interests.

Washington has led efforts to form a regional and international coalition to fight the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which seized vast swatches of land in both Iraq and Syria.

Sources in the Muslim Brotherhood movement told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that Qatar has asked seven group leaders to leave the country within one week.

According to the sources, the figures asked to leave include Mahmoud Hussein, Amr Darrag, Hamza Zoubaa, Wagdi Ghoneim, Gamal Abdel-Sattar, Essam Telima and Ashraf Badr.

Qatari authorities, however, have not confirmed the report.

A large number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, members and sympathizers left Egypt for Qatar following last year’s military ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.

The issue had soured relations between the Gulf state and Egypt, which had repeatedly asked the Qatari government to deport figures associated with the Brotherhood.

Late last year, Egyptian authorities termed the Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, as a “terrorist” group following a string of attacks in the country.

The Brotherhood, for its part, denies involvement in acts of violence and reiterates commitment to peaceful activism.