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The past year has been a reversal in fortune for the 90-year-old Islamist group founded in Egypt.
In July, the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohamad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who was elected a year earlier. Since then Egypt’s interim government has pursued influential Muslim Brotherhood leaders and advocates.
Following a spate of attacks on government buildings, officials and security personnel, Egypt blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for inciting and/or orchestrating the attacks and moved to designate them a terrorist organization.
On Saturday, an Egyptian court sentenced 11 people to two years in prison for participating in a Muslim Brotherhood protest in a suburb of the capital Cairo.
Earlier, Egyptian authorities applauded Saudi Arabia’s royal decree.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Attie on Friday said: “We expect other countries to fulfill their responsibilities in the fight against terrorism.”
Saudi Arabia’s move came two days after Riyadh and regional Gulf Cooperation Council allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar citing its failure to implement a non-interference clause in a previously signed security agreement.
A joint statement at the time said that GCC countries were looking to ratify a unified policy which prohibits any member state from directly or indirectly interfering in the internal affairs of another.
Qatar has since said it would not halt its support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, the Islamist group issued a statement:
It is one of the founding principles of the group not to interfere in matters of other states, and this new position from the kingdom is a complete departure from the past relationship with the group, since the reign of the founding king until now.
On Thursday, Egypt said it would not dispatch its ambassador to Qatar; he has been in Cairo since early February. Qatar responded in kind.