On Wednesday, two Egyptian envoys flew to the UAE to discuss the arrest of 11 of
their citizens, who are suspected of belonging to a Muslim Brotherhood cell that
was involved in espionage and sedition. This follows allegations by other Gulf
countries of Muslim Brotherhood activity on their soil.
According to UAE
paper The National, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sent his adviser for
foreign affairs, Essam Haddad, to deliver a letter to UAE President Sheikh
The 11 Egyptians arrested last month were under surveillance for
some time. They are accused of espionage, holding secret meetings, sending large
amounts of money to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo, and recruiting
The National reported that the group set up front companies in
the UAE to send money illegally to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In addition,
they are suspected of gathering information about UAE’s defense capabilities and
transmitting it to Brotherhood representatives during secret
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood denied the accusations and said that
its members were wrongfully arrested.
Mahmoud Ghozlan, a Brotherhood
spokesman in Cairo said, “The claim that they are a cell seeking to destabilize
the country is devoid of truth.”
Egypt’s ambassador to the UAE was quoted
by The National saying, “We want people to be calm so that in the end it does
not backfire on relations between the two countries.”
In September, the
UAE arrested 60 Muslim Brotherhood members, who were accused of similar charges
and plotting the overthrow of the government.
Gulf states distrust the
Muslim Brotherhood, seeing them as a threat to their hold on power. After Morsi
came to power in Egypt last year, they have become even more
Tensions were also raised because former Egyptian presidential
candidate and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq went to the UAE right after
losing the election to Morsi.
Shafiq has since been the target of a
number of investigations in Egypt accusing him of corruption.
the website Gulfnews reported that Kuwait MP Abdullah Al Tamimi called on the
country’s Interior Ministry to ensure that the country was not housing Muslim
Brotherhood sleeper cells. He said, “Kuwait must not be turned into an open
field for such cells, especially that we have a large community of
The Kuwait Times reported on Tuesday that Morsi denied
similar claims that the Muslim Brotherhood was interfering in Kuwait’s internal
affairs. Morsi responded that these rumors were spreading in Gulf countries in
order to “create divisions between Arab nations.
Egypt respects the
people of the Arabian Gulf countries, and I reiterate the fact that maintaining
the Gulf’s security is crucial for the region’s collective
Reuters contributed to this report.