July 04, 2013

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Gulf Arab states with sharply contrasting views on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday acknowledged the country’s new military-led government after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

The United Arab Emirates, one of the Arab world’s most outspoken critics of the Muslim Brotherhood, noted its “satisfaction” at the turn of events in Egypt, according to the official news agency WAM. Gulf ally Qatar, however, was a main backer of Morsi’s government and had pledged up to $21 billion in investment and economic aid over the next five years. The plans are now thrown into question with Morsi’s downfall after days of massive street protests in Cairo and elsewhere.

But Qatar’s new emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, send a message of congratulations to Egypt’s new, interim President Adly Mansour, the official Qatar News Agency reported. The UAE claims Islamist groups backed by the Muslim Brotherhood have sought to topple its Western-backed ruling system. Earlier this week, 69 people were convicted on coup plotting charges. Another 30 suspects, including Egyptians, await trial for alleged links to Brotherhood networks.

In neighboring Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah also sent a congratulations message. In Kuwait, which has a strong branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, some supporters denounced Morsi’s toppling as a dangerous precedent.

“Egypt’s democracy and the outcome of its decent, free elections, its freedoms and liberties are all under question after some people supported the army coup against democracy,” said a Muslim Brotherhood member and former parliament member in Kuwait, Faisal al-Meslim.