- Middle East/North Africa
A foreign affairs official met with the Emirati foreign minister Wednesday to discuss the Egyptians detained for allegedly forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell in Abu Dhabi, according to the Emirati WAM news agency.
Ali al-Ashiry, assistant foreign minister for consular affairs, met with Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan to discuss the arrests, as well as other issues related to the Egyptian community in the United Arab Emirates, such as visas and sponsorships.
Ashiry demanded that Abu Dhabi disclose its arrest procedures, allow an embassy representative to attend investigations, allow the detainees to contact their families, and inform the embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai of any arrest of an Egyptian national, in accordance with international conventions, according to WAM.
The 11 Egyptians arrested last month stand accused of leading an expatriate Brotherhood cell in the UAE that allegedly collected sensitive information and had links to Emirati nationals suspected of plotting against national security. The Muslim Brotherhood has denied the accusations.
The Emirati Gulf News newspaper reported on 5 January that the UAE had rejected a request from Egypt to release the 11 detainees.
UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum told top Egyptian presidential adviser Essam al-Haddad and intelligence chief Mohamed Shehata at a meeting in Dubai on 2 January that release the 11 detainees without trial “is not possible,” Gulf News reported.
Ashiry and Nahyan held their meeting at the second session of the Joint Egyptian Emirati Consular Commission.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm