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UK says its position unchanged towards Brotherhood

Logo of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The British government said its position towards the Muslim Brotherhood remains unchanged despite a new report issued by parliament criticising it, a spokesman of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The Foreign Affairs Committee recently issued a report criticising the investigation carried out by Sir John Jenkins into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.

MPs criticised the appointment of Jenkins, who was the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia until 2015, to lead a “secretive” probe calling it “misguided”.

In the report, the British MPs said that it is impossible for a group the size of the Muslim Brotherhood to control all of its members, adding: “It is impossible to ignore the circumstances through which the group passed during the ouster of the group and the President Mohamed Morsi.”

UK foreign office spokesman said: “The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) report is a helpful contribution to the broad debate as to how and whether to engage with different forms of political Islam in the Middle East and North Africa.”

“We are grateful to the Committee for its support to the FCO’s nuanced approach to the broad phenomenon of political Islam. We will study the report in more detail and will respond to the FAC in due course.

“There are many views on the MB in Britain and around the world, including various voices reflected in this latest document.”

However, he said: “But the British government’s position, based on an 18-month detailed review and a decision of the full [National Security Council] NSC, including the now prime minister, remains unchanged.

“As the prime minister stated in December 2015, membership of the Muslim Brotherhood is a possible indicator of extremism, and our policy will take account of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ambiguity about violence and contradictions between Muslim Brotherhood ideology and actions and UK values and interests.”

Meanwhile, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in London welcomed the report, which they considered an “important document” they would depend on when they address the European governments and parliaments.

The also said that they would consider it one of the documents they use when they litigate the Egyptian government before a number of the European courts.

The MPs issued the report after holding meetings in parliament with a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and activists from Egypt, Tunisia and other countries.

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