Egypt asks Arab League to act against terror group

Filed on January 1, 2014

Cairo also wants the League’s members to hand over wanted radicals linked to the Brotherhood to which deposed president Mohammed Mursi belongs.

Egypt urged Arab League members on Monday to enforce a counter terrorism treaty that would block funding and support for the Muslim Brotherhood after Cairo designated it as “terrorist” group.

Cairo also wants the League’s members to hand over wanted radicals linked to the Brotherhood to which deposed president Mohammed Mursi belongs.

Egypt’s government listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist group last week, after officials accused the movement of a suicide bombing that killed 15 people in a police station on Tuesday.

The Brotherhood has a presence in most Arab countries. It condemned the bombing, which was claimed by Al Qaeda-inspired militants based in the restive Sinai peninsula.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said Arab League members that signed the 1998 counter terrorism treaty, should enforce it against the Brotherhood.

The treaty coordinates anti-terrorism measures between signatories. “The signatories are responsible for implementing the treaty,” Abdelatty said, adding the members would have to stop financing the group and hand over Brotherhood fugitives to Egypt.

An Arab League official said 18 of the Arab League’s 22 members had ratified the treaty.

The Arab League said it has notified its members of Egypt’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

Mursi and dozens of Brotherhood leaders face trials on various charges, including colluding with militants to carry out attacks in Egypt. Some of the group’s leaders have fled the country, and its media operation is now based in the United Kingdom.

Presidential poll

Egypt’s government is likely to call a presidential election before parliamentary polls, officials said on Monday, rearranging the political timetable in a way that could see army chief General Abdel Fattah Al Sissi elected head of state by April.

Parliamentary elections were supposed to happen first under the roadmap unveiled after the army deposed Mursi in July after mass protests against his rule.

A draft constitution concluded on December 1 opened the way for a change in the order of the elections by leaving open the question of which should come first.

“The forces that attended the four meetings agreed, with a large percentage, to have the presidential elections first and that means that most likely the presidential elections will be first,” said one of the officials.

An army official added: “Presidential elections are most likely to be held first, as it seems to be the demand of most parties so far.”

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