Egypt ties further strained

Egypt ties further strained

Egypt ties further strained

Supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, hold posters of him as they protest outside the Cairo Police Academy in this photo. Egypt’s ties with Turkey has strained after the July 3 coup. AP photo

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has rejected a request from Turkey to dispatch further diplomats to Cairo, in the latest sign of deteriorated relations between the two countries since the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi last month.

In early 2013, Turkey decided to send three more diplomats to its embassy in Cairo in an effort to boost relations between the Turkish government and the Egyptian government led by Morsi at the time.

However, Cairo declined to give diplomatic ID cards to three diplomats when they arrived in the country in August. Ankara reacted harshly against the removal of Morsi through a military coup, causing ties to be strained.

Egyptian officials accused Ankara of interfering in the country’s internal affairs after Turkish leaders condemned what they described as a coup against Egypt’s democratically elected president. Turkey’s ambassador in Egypt been recalled to Ankara for consultations following the bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters. Mirroring Ankara’s step, Cairo reciprocated by recalling its own ambassador in Turkey for consultations.

Al-Jazeera to be ‘closed’

Meanwhile, Egypt’s official news agency said the interim government has deemed Al-Jazeera’s local affiliate a national threat, moving closer to banning its broadcasts.

The MENA news agency said three government ministers met yesterday and issued a statement saying that Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr is operating “illegally” and using satellite transmitters without license.

The agency said the ministers allege that the station is resented for spreading “rumors and claims which are harmful to Egyptian national security and threaten the country’s unity.”

Amid Egypt’s current political turmoil after July 3 coup, the channel aired statements by fugitive Islamist leaders. The Qatar-based network also broadcast hours of protests by supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood live across its channels.

In a related development, Egyptian authorities detained more than 60 people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in less than 24 hours, including relatives of the group’s leaders, officials said Aug. 28.

In a widening campaign, police have started going after members’ relatives, including the son of Khairat el-Shater, a Brotherhood deputy and financier charged in relation to the killings of protesters outside the group’s headquarters in June. A U.S. citizen, the son of a fugitive Brotherhood figure, was also detained this week.

The brother-in-law of fugitive Brotherhood figurehead Mohammed el-Beltagy also was arrested in the latest sweep on charges he incited violent protests aimed at toppling the military-backed government that took over after Morsi.