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Egypt urges European ambassadors to close pro-Muslim Brotherhood satellite channels

February 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged European Union member states to close satellite channels affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood that are broadcasting via European satellites.

During his Tuesday meeting with ambassadors from EU member states in Cairo, Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Hatem Seif El-Nasr urged them to “shut down channels that support the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organisation and are broadcasting through European satellites.”

“These channels incite violence and murder in Egypt,” said El-Nasr, according to correspondent from Anadolu agency who attended the meeting.

He stressed the need to “monitor extremist websites that disseminate messages of violence and incite murder, and to block the funding of these extremist groups.”

The Egyptian diplomat also said that it is important “to stop dealing with the illegitimate entities that Muslim Brotherhood members abroad belong to, and to cut relations with these entities because they do not represent official Egyptian entities.”

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday that it is establishing contacts with unnamed European governments bodies in order to urge them to take “necessary and firm measures” against the broadcasting of material that incites hatred and terrorism on pro-Muslim Brotherhood satellite channels.

The statement did not specify the European bodies and governments that the ministry got in touch with, or the specific satellite channels that they are referring to. But Egyptian media outlets close to the Egyptian authorities accuse the channels of Egypt Now, Rabaa, Mekameleen, and Sharq – all of which are based in Turkey and broadcast via French satellites – of being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and of inciting hatred and violence. These channels dismiss such accusations.

“We appreciate the messages of solidarity with Egypt against the terrorist attacks that Egypt was lately subjected to, and our country is in at the forefront of the war against terror in the region, and we always fight the organisations that take religion as a cover. At the same time, we are committed to defending human rights and protecting innocents,” El-Nasr added.

El-Nasr also noted that the latest terrorist operations in Egypt are an alarm bell that indicate the grave threats the world currently has to face. He spoke about the importance of exchanging military and intelligence information among countries.

On Thursday, three simultaneous attacks hit Sinai, targeting security and military sites in the city of Arish. Other security sites in the cities of Sheikh Zoueid and Rafah were also attacked. According to Egyptian state TV, the operations left dozens killed and injured.

While the Egyptian authorities accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of violence and terrorism, the group says that it is committed to peaceful protest – staged by its supports on an almost daily basis – against what they consider to be the “military coup” that ousted President Mohamed Morsi. Morsi’s opponents believe that his ouster was the result of a popular revolution.

Following Morsi’s ouster on 3 July 2013, the Egyptian authorities closed a number of “Islamic” satellite channels that supported Morsi. The Egyptian government claims that those channels incited hatred.