British Prime Minister David Cameron said a long-delayed review of the Muslim Brotherhood is to be published by the end of the year and will underscore his government's "robust approach" against extremism. Cameron made the announcement after talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who came to power in 2014 through a military coup backed by street protests that ousted Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader.
The Islamist movement was later designated a terrorist organisation in Egypt, which, with Saudi Arabia, has since been lobbying for the group to be outlawed also elsewhere. The UK government ordered a review that was completed in 2014. However, the publication was delayed amid accusations ministers were sitting on it because its conclusions were too lenient for the taste of Britain's allies in Cairo and Riyadh.
Cameron used Sisi's official visit to London to declare the review was finally ready. "In terms of our review of the Muslim Brotherhood, which we discussed today, that will be published later this year and I think you will see, as you are already seeing in Britain, a much more robust approach against extremism of all kinds," he said. "If people are fomenting violence then they are breaking the law and the law should come down on them."
The statement came arguably as partial compensation for the Egyptian leader whose trip to the UK was largely overshadowed by Downing Street's decision to cancel all flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh over security fears, carrying a hard blow to Egypt's truism industry.
The government said it was taking the precautionary measure as there was evidence suggesting a Russian plane, which flew out of the Red Sea resort, might have been downed by an "explosive device". Cameron told a press conference: "My role is to act in the right way to keep British citizens safe and secure and to put their security first."
Egypt Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou described the move as unjustified, as the investigation into the crash that killed 224 people was still ongoing. The British government said flights to bring back the about 20,000 British nationals currently stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh will resume as soon as the local airport is deemed safe.
In London, Sisi said UK experts checked safety at Sharm el-Sheikh's airport 10 months ago and were "happy" with security levels they found. He added two countries were "working intensively together in a spirit of close co-operation ... to address this and get back to normal as soon as possible".