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UAE backs Saudi's Brotherhood move
March 9, 2014, 10:11 am
Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with supporters of the Egyptian government (AFP/Getty Images) Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with supporters of the Egyptian government.

The UAE has backed Saudi Arabia’s decision to list a number of organisations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as terrorist groups.

In a further act of solidarity between the two nations, after Saudi, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar over that state’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday gave full support to Saudi’s decision, deeming “these groups as terrorist”.

“The UAE will not spare any effort to bolster the co-operation with brothers in Saudi Arabia to tackle those terrorist groups through liquidating all forms of material and moral support in all circumstances,” the Ministry said in a statement published by state news agency WAM.

“The significant step taken by the KSA 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.”

Last week Saudi formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, official Saudi television reported citing a statement by the Interior Ministry.

The kingdom also designated Nusra Front and Al Qaeda-affiliate the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, whose fighters are battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as terrorist organisations.

The move appeared to enforce last month's royal decree where Riyadh said it would jail for between three and 20 years any citizen who fought in conflicts abroad.

The kingdom's authorities want to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria and posing a security risk once they return home. Riyadh also fears the Brotherhood, whose conservative Sunni doctrines challenge the Saudi principle of dynastic rule, has tried to build support inside the kingdom since the Arab Spring popular revolutions.

Last week Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE said they were withdrawing their ambassadors from Qatar over what is understood to be Qatar’s continued support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The unprecedented move escalated an internal power struggle over foreign policy in the GCC, which also includes Kuwait and Oman, and represents a significant challenge for Qatar's young ruler months after he took power.

Qatar's cabinet voiced "regret and surprise" at the decision but said Doha would not pull out its own envoys in response and that it remained committed to "the security and stability" of the GCC.

On Wednesday, Kuwait's parliament speaker said the state’s ruling emir could help soothe the diplomatic rift.

“We follow with concern the implications,” Kuwaiti parliament speaker Marzouq Al Ghanim said, according to state news agency KUNA.

He added that he looked forward to efforts by Kuwait's emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah to "heal a rift between brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council," the agency said.

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