Posts Tagged ‘Muslim Brotherhood’

Erdogan in Qatar for talks on Gulf crisis

July 24, 2017

AFP

© TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AFP | This handout photo released by Turkey’s presidential press service on July 24, 2017 shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and wife Emine (2L) being welcomed by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (2R), at Doha airport

DOHA (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Doha ON Monday as part of a Gulf tour aimed at defusing a dispute between Turkey’s ally Qatar and neighbouring Arab states.Erdogan was greeted by Qatari ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha ahead of their first face-to-face talks on the Gulf crisis, state news agency QNA reported.

Turkey has sided with Qatar in the crisis, the worst to hit the region since the 1981 establishment of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain suspended diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar over allegations that Doha had too close ties with Iran and supported Islamist extremist groups.

Qatar has denied the allegations.

Erdogan held talks on Sunday in Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts in the crisis, and Saudi Arabia, where King Salman hailed the Turkish leader’s “efforts in the fight against terrorism and its financing”.

Erdogan has voiced support for the mediation efforts of Kuwait, a possible indication Ankara sees Kuwait as the key to resolving the crisis.

Qatar’s emir on Friday said he was open to talks with the Saudi-led bloc on condition the emirate’s “sovereignty” was respected.

His call received a cold reception from the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, who wanted Qatar to review its policies.

“Dialogue is necessary, but it should be based on a revision” of Qatar’s stance, he tweeted.

Qatar has emerged as Turkey’s number one ally in the Middle East in recent years, with Ankara and Doha closely coordinating over issues including the Syria conflict where the two are staunch foes of President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey is also setting up a military base in Qatar, its only such outpost in the region. It has expedited the process since the crisis began and reportedly now has 150 troops in the emirate.

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Turkish Leader Meets Qatari Counterpart Over Gulf Dispute

July 24, 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Turkey’s president has arrived in Qatar on the final leg of a Gulf tour aimed at forging a resolution to the diplomatic standoff gripping the nation and four fellow Arab countries.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived on Monday from Kuwait, which has been mediating the dispute. He earlier met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, which leads an anti-Qatar bloc that includes the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

The quartet cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar in early June, accusing it of supporting extremists. Qatar strongly denies the allegation and sees the dispute as politically motivated.

Erdogan met with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who has said Qatar is open to dialogue so long as it respects Qatar’s sovereignty.

Egypt: Eight militants believed tied to Muslim Brotherhood killed by security forces in Cairo — We need to “correct misconceptions and radical ideologies.”

July 23, 2017

CAIRO — The latest on the developments in Egypt (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry says its forces killed eight members of a militant group with suspected links to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

In a statement Sunday, the ministry said the Hasm members were killed in an exchange of fire with security personnel in a training camp in Fayoum governorate southwest of Cairo, a traditional Brotherhood stronghold. It added that weapons and ammunition were found in their possession.

The ministry also said it arrested five others belonging to the same group in Giza and Sharqiya.

Hasm movement, which routinely targets Egyptian security forces in bombings and drive-by shootings, claimed responsibility on Friday for an earlier attack on a three-car police convoy that killed one policeman and wounded three others in Fayoum

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12:05 p.m.

Egypt’s Islamic Research Academy of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost religious institution, has set up booths in Cairo metro stations to give religious edicts to citizens in an attempt to “correct misconceptions and radical ideologies.”

In a Thursday statement, the academy’s Secretary General Mohi el-Din Afifi said the move comes to enhance the spirit of belonging to the country and to dispel misinterpretations of Quranic verses and religious texts.

Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting

Spain’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ignacio Ybanez, left, listens as Mohi El-Din Afifi, right, Secretary-General of Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy, speaks during a Security Council meeting on terrorism, Wednesday May 11, 2016 at U. N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Rights activist Gamal Eid expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of these booths, saying other measures including fighting corruption and upholding freedoms should be prioritized.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has repeatedly blamed what he believes to be the outdated religious discourse for rising Islamic militancy and has been calling for “modernization of religious discourse” since he took office in 2014.

Erdogan visits Gulf in hope of easing Qatar crisis

July 23, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | This file photo taken on July 08, 2017 shows Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference on the at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. On July 23 he began a tour of the Gulf to defuse the row with Qatar

JEDDAH (SAUDI ARABIA) (AFP) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began on Sunday a key visit to the Gulf region aimed at defusing the standoff around Turkey’s ally Qatar, saying no one had an interest in prolonging the crisis.

Erdogan arrived in Jeddah to meet the Saudi leadership before heading to Kuwait, and on Monday to Qatar for his first face-to-face talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani since the crisis began.

“No one has any interest in prolonging this crisis any more,” said Erdogan at Istanbul airport before leaving on the two-day trip.

He accused “enemies” of seeking to “fire up tensions between brothers” in the region.

Erdogan praised Qatar’s behaviour in the crisis, saying it had sought to find a solution through dialogue. “I hope our visit will be beneficial for the region,” he said.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with their Shiite rival Iran. Doha denies the claim and has been strongly backed by Ankara throughout the standoff.

The crisis with Qatar has put Turkey in a delicate position and Erdogan has repeatedly said he wants to see the end of the dispute as soon as possible.

Over the last years, Qatar has emerged as Turkey’s number one ally in the Middle East, with Ankara and Doha closely coordinating their positions on a number of issues including the Syria conflict where both are staunch foes of President Bashar al-Assad.

Crucially, Turkey is in the throes of setting up a military base in Qatar, its only such outpost in the region. It has sped up the process since the crisis began and reportedly now has 150 troops at the base.

“From the first moments of the Qatar crisis, we have been on the side of peace, stability, solidarity and dialogue,” said Erdogan.

– ‘Saudi, Gulf’s elder statesman’ –

But Turkey, which is also going through a turbulent time with the European Union and the United States, also does not want to wreck its own relations with regional kingpin Saudi Arabia.

As well as meeting King Salman, Erdogan is also due to hold talks with Mohammed bin Salman for the first time since he was elevated to the role of crown prince and his father’s heir in a dramatic June reshuffle of the royal house.

“As the elder statesman in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia has a big role to play in solving the crisis,” said Erdogan, taking care not to explicitly criticise the kingdom.

Erdogan said he supported the mediation efforts of Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a possible indication Ankara sees Kuwait as the key to solving the crisis.

The Qatari emir said Friday he was ready for talks to resolve the crisis so long as the emirate’s sovereignty is respected.

His call received a cold reception from the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, who said he hoped the emir had pledged to reconsider Qatar’s position.

“Dialogue is necessary, but it should be based on a revision” of Qatar’s stance, he tweeted.

Erdogan is likely to get a warm welcome in Doha where Turkey has been loudly applauded for sending in food, including fruit, dairy and poultry products by ship and by plane to help Doha beat an embargo.

Turkey has also benefited, with its exports to Qatar doubling in the last month to over $50 million. According to the economy ministry, Ankara has sent around 200 cargo planes filled with aid since the crisis began.

Erdogan’s tour concides with a visit to Kuwait by the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, who held talks Sunday with Kuwaiti officials.

Mogherini voiced earlier this month the EU’s support to Kuwaiti mediation.

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Qatar crisis: Turkey’s Erdogan calls for swift end to Gulf dispute

July 23, 2017

BBC News

Passengers wait to check-in at a Qatar Airways counter in the Hamad International Airport in the Qatari capital Doha on June 12, 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Restrictions imposed by four Arab states have affected flights in and out of Qatar. Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said it is not in anyone’s interest to prolong a crisis between Qatar and its neighbours, as he embarked on a two-day visit to the region.

Mr Erdogan will visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and then Qatar as he tries to resolve the dispute.

In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism and ties with Iran.

Qatar denies aiding any terror groups.

A boycott put in place by the four countries has forced the gas-rich emirate to import food by sea and air to meet the basic needs of its 2.7 million population.

“No-one has any interest in prolonging this crisis any more,” Mr Erdogan told reporters before leaving Istanbul airport.

He accused unspecified “enemies” of trying to “fire up tensions between brothers”, AFP news agency reported.

Turkey has a military base in Qatar and sees it as a key ally in the region.

Both countries share a similar attitude towards Iran – Saudi Arabia’s regional rival – acknowledging it as a key player in the Middle East and trying to maintain good ties.

However, correspondents say Mr Erdogan is keen not to antagonise Saudi Arabia.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani at the presidential palace in Ankara on July 14 2017
President Erdogan, right, held talks with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani last month. AFP photo

He has referred to the kingdom as the “elder statesman” in the Gulf and said it has “a big role to play” in ending the crisis.

Mr Erdogan says he backs mediation efforts by Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah.

On Friday Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said he was ready for talks to end the crisis but insisted that the emirate’s sovereignty must be respected.

The four Arab states initially made a list of 13 demands that included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, closing the Turkish military base, cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading relations with Iran.

They later backed down, saying they wanted Qatar to accept six broad principles including commitments to combat terrorism and extremism, and to end what they called acts of provocation and incitement.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40697432

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The situation in Qatar will soon become like Yemen unless the siege is ended

July 22, 2017

Opinion — Letter

The Independent 

I applaud The Independent for drawing much needed attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in war-ravaged Yemen.

This poor country is in the grip of man-made cholera; is sitting on the cusp of famine, malnutrition, severe shortages of food, medicine, clean water and livestock. This war has weakened the Yemeni people, rendered them more impoverished and susceptible to diseases, acted as a breeding ground for radical extremism and terrorism and resulted in an economic collapse and crumbling health systems, with no end in sight to peoples’ miseries. Warring factions and their backers are responsible for stoking the embers of war and hatred for mere financial gains “the merchants of war”.

It is also imperative to remember the besieged people in Qatar. Unlike Yemen, Qatar is a wealthy country with massive oil and gas reservoirs. However, its unwarranted siege would have severe repercussions for families, students, the elderly, the infirm and the sick. Qatar has always believed in dialogue and diplomacy as a way out of this conflict. The global community cannot remain impervious to the anguish and suffering of people. It is time to demonstrate the wisdom of diversity, constructive engagement and diplomacy during times of adversity.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-qatar-will-soon-become-like-yemen-a7844166.html

Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

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Egypt’s insurgency by the Islamic State: 30 extremists killed in the Sinai Peninsula

July 22, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Egypt is battling an insurgency by the Islamic State group in the Sinai that has killed hundreds of members of the security forces

CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian forces have killed 30 extremists during several days of security operations in the Sinai Peninsula involving the army, air force and police, the military said Saturday.The Egyptian authorities are battling an insurgency by the Islamic State (IS) group in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of members of the security forces.

The military did not specify to which group the 30 extremists belonged but described them as “extremely dangerous”.

Five others were arrested as Egyptian forces imposed a “tight siege” on the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish and the cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, a military statement said.

Egypt has struggled to quash attacks led by IS, whose local branch is based in North Sinai, after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The bombing by IS of a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from a South Sinai resort in 2015 killed all 224 people on board and severely damaged the country’s tourism sector.

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Russian state security services have admitted that a bomb brought down a Metrojet aircraft over Egypt 

Russian Metro Jet crash,  31 October 2015 — All 224 people on board were killed, including 219 Russian citizens, making it Russia’s worst ever air disaster and the country’s deadliest terrorist attack since the 2004 Beslan school siege.

Qatar emir calls for negotiations to ease Gulf boycott

July 22, 2017

BBC News

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, 2017
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani condemned a “malicious smearing campaign” – Reuters

The emir of Qatar has called for negotiations to ease a boycott by four powerful Arab neighbours.

In his first public address since the crisis erupted, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said any solution must respect Qatar’s sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June over its alleged support for terrorism and ties with Iran, and issued a series of demands.

Qatar denies aiding terrorists.

In his television address, the emir condemned a “malicious smearing campaign” against Qatar and praised the resilience of its people.

“As you know, life in Qatar life goes on normally,” he said.

But he said “the time has come for us to spare the people from the political differences between the governments”.

“We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems,” so long as Qatar’s “sovereignty is respected”, the emir said.

The restrictions put in place by the four Arab nations have forced the gas-rich emirate to import food by sea and air to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have now backed down from a list of 13 specific demands they made last month. They included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, closing a Turkish military base, cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading relations with Iran.

Instead they say they want Qatar to accept six broad principles before they lift the restrictions. These include commitments to combat terrorism and extremism, and to end acts of provocation and incitement.

Giles Trendle of Al Jazeera: “We’re not partisan to any particular group or ideology or government”

Qatar has not responded directly to the latest demands. It has previously refused to agree to any measures that threaten its sovereignty or violate international law, and denounced the “siege” imposed by its neighbours.

In Friday’s address, the emir thanked Kuwaiti mediators who have been trying to resolve the crisis.

Earlier this week, UAE Minister of State for International Co-operation Reem al-Hashimi said: “At this stage, the ball is in Qatar’s court.”

Qatar has acknowledged providing assistance to Islamist groups designated as terrorist organisations by some of its neighbours, notably the Muslim Brotherhood. But it has denied aiding jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda or Islamic State (IS).

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40687981

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Qatar informed al-Qaeda of a UAE military operation in Yemen, UAE ambassador says

July 21, 2017

Image result for Omar Saif Ghobash

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to Russia has said Qatar informed al-Qaeda of a military operation in Yemen, resulting in a suicide bomb attack that left Emirati troops injured.

“Our Qatari allies informed al-Qaeda of our precise location and what we were planning to do. We then received four suicide bombers at our door,” Omar Saif Ghobash told BBC Hardtalk.

The United Arab Emirates is one of four Arab nations leading a boycott of Qatar.

Last month they cut diplomatic ties with their Gulf neighbour and submitted demands of the country, including commitments to combat terrorism.

Qatar has denied aiding terrorists.

See Video:

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-40673529/qatar-informed-al-qaeda-bombers-says-uae-diplomat

 

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Qatar changes anti-terror law amid Gulf row

July 21, 2017

Image may contain: one or more people, skyscraper, ocean, sky, outdoor and water

DOHA (AFP) – Qatar announced on Thursday changes to its anti-terror legislation, one of the controversial issues at the core of the crisis between Doha and its neighbours who accuse it of backing extremists.

The decree from Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani establishes two national lists for individuals and terrorist entities and sets out the requirements for being included on them.

It also defines terrorists, terrorist crimes, terrorist entities as well as the financing of terrorism.

The decree follows the signing of a US-Qatar agreement to combat terror funding, later dismissed by the Gulf nation’s neighbours.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson arrived in Doha, Qatar. Credit Qatar News Agency, via Associated Press

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have put in place a boycott on Qatar since June 5.

They have imposed sanctions on Doha, including closing its only land border, refusing Qatar access to their airspace and ordering their citizens back from Qatar.

They also presented the emirate with a list of 13 demands with which to comply to end the worst political crisis in the region for years.

Qatar denies the charges of extremism and has called the demands unrealistic.

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