Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy met with the United Kingdom’s National Security Adviser on Tuesday morning in London ahead of a Wednesday meeting with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Fahmy and Sir Kim Darroch “focused on the issue of terrorism faced by Egypt and its seriousness”, said a foreign ministry spokesman, who added: “The British official expressed his country’s support for the war waged by Egypt against terrorism”.
Egypt has experienced dozens of bomb attacks focused mainly in the Sinai Peninsula and the Greater Cairo area, most of which have been claimed by militant groups Agnad Misr and Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. The latter of the two has been declared a terrorist organisation by both Egypt and the UK; however, only Egypt has labelled the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organisation.
The UK government announced that it would “review” the Brotherhood to understand “the philosophy, activities, impact and influence on UK national interests, at home and abroad, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of [UK] government policy towards the organisation”. The Muslim Brotherhood Press Office in London confirmed to Daily News Egypt: “There will be an official report submitted by the Brotherhood to the investigation committee”. The deadline for “interested parties” to submit evidence to contribute towards the review is 30 May.
The Brotherhood said it would not be taking any “specific action” regarding the foreign minister’s visit, describing it as “ineffectual”.
Fahmy and Darroch also discussed “regional issues of mutual interest” including the Syrian conflict, “especially the developments of the Palestinian issue and the need to stop Israeli settlement activity” and the “political and security situation in Libya”.
William Hague will host a meeting of the “London 11”, also known as the core group of the “Friends of Syria”, which Egypt is a member of. The foreign ministers “will discuss how best to significantly step-up our support to the Syrian opposition,” said Hague last week. He added they will also look to “make urgent progress on improving the deteriorating humanitarian crisis and reinvigorate a political process that has stalled due to regime intransigence”.
Hague attended the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday, where the EU foreign ministers, who discussed the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, said they were “extremely concerned at recent developments”.
The most recent talks broke down completely after a surprise unity deal between the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas just before the previously agreed deadline of 29 April. The text of the unity deal expressed “the value of and their appreciation for the Egyptian role in overseeing the reconciliation agreement,” adding that Cairo’s involvement “will continue”.
Darroch was also briefed by Fahmy on the developments of Egypt’s roadmap “and what has been achieved so far in the adoption of the Constitution and the ongoing preparations for the presidential election”.
Fahmy also spoke at Chatham House, home to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, on Tuesday, highlighting Egypt’s efforts to rid the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction.
During his visit Fahmy is also expected to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening, Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa Hugh Robertson as well as members of “the parliamentary group of the friends of Egypt”.