- Middle East/North Africa
The United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan has rejected claims by Muslim Brotherhood members that his country is plotting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy's overthrow.
Emirati news agency WAM reported that Zayed met with Egyptian ambassador to the UAE Tamer Mansour and raised concerns about "fabricated remarks broadcast recently by some media in Egypt involving accusations against the UAE, including the allegation that it was engaged in plots against the Egyptian leadership."
Freedom and Justice Party member Mohamed Mossad Yaqout had recently alleged that Egyptian opposition forces were trying to overthrow Morsy with help from a "Gulf cell."
His comments echo recent allegations by Brotherhood members that the UAE's ambassador to Egypt was involved in an assassination plot against Morsy.
Zayed denied the allegations and urged Mansour to open a legal investigation into the claims.
"He stressed to the ambassador the need for the Egyptian government to follow up on these unfounded and slanderous fabrications, which do not serve the fraternal relationship between the two sisterly countries," WAM said.
Relations have been strained between the Brotherhood and the UAE, where the group is outlawed. The wealthy Gulf country maintains a strong grip on internal political opposition, and fears have risen among the country's leadership that the recent wave of popular uprisings in the region could challenge its rule.
Sixty Emiratis were arrested in July on suspicion of belonging to the Brotherhood, and Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan recently slammed the group, saying in a statement to the media that the group behaved like a "mafia."