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bahrain

Bahrain confirms support to UAE, Saudi Arabia

Foreign minister claims media misinterpretation of his statements on Muslim Brotherhood

11:02 March 22, 2014

Manama: Bahrain’s foreign minister has dismissed reports that he allegedly said his country did not consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa also insisted, in a series of tweets, that Bahrain fully supported Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, stressing that any threat to the fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was a threat to Bahrain.

“I never said or mentioned that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a terrorist group,” Shaikh Khalid said, referring to a press conference he held in Islamabad on March 20.

“Each country, while upholding the common stance vis-à-vis the Muslim Brotherhood, deals with its members according to their acts towards the state. This is what I said and meant at the media conference in Islamabad. It is very clear and it does not lend itself to any interpretation,” Shaikh Khalid said on his Twitter account.

A media account following the conference reported that the Bahraini minister said his country did not consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

The statement would have set the Bahraini stance in contrast with the position of its neighbour Saudi Arabia that earlier this month designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

However, Shaikh Khalid denied that he said the Brotherhood was not a terrorist group.

“I am responsible for what I said in Islamabad and I have clarified my statements further. I am not responsible for the interpretations and misinterpretations of my words by some media,” the minister said.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement with the same approach. Every state deals with its members based on its laws and on its commitment to agreements,” he said.

“Bahrain stands with the brothers in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE in their efforts to confront the schemes of the Muslim Brotherhood. Bahrain tackles the Muslim Brotherhood and the group’s blatant terrorist threat to stability in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which we see as a threat to Bahrain and its security,” he said.

Bahrain will deal with any threat from the Muslim Brotherhood in the same way it deals with any threat to its security and stability, the minister added.

“Any threat to security and stability in Saudi Arabia and the UAE is a direct threat to security and stability in Bahrain, and vice versa. Anyone who antagonises them is, without the slightest doubt, our enemy,” Shaikh Khalid said.

Saudi Arabia on March 7 blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria-based the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Al Qaida-linked Al Nusra Front and the Saudi branch of Hezbollah as terrorist organisations.

Shaikh Khalid had accompanied King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa to Islamabad on a historic visit to Pakistan, the first by a Bahraini ruler. Both countries hailed "the tremendous success" of the visit during which six memoranda of understandings and agreements to boost ties and bolster cooperation were signed.