Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump is considering placing the Muslim Brotherhood on a US blacklist of “foreign terrorist organizations,” the White House said Tuesday.
The Brotherhood, an Islamist movement with support across the Middle East, was designated a terrorist organization in Egypt following the military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
“The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Placing the Muslim Brotherhood on a terrorism blacklist would allow US officials to impose sanctions on any person or organization with links to it.
The move comes three weeks after Trump hosted Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose government has been criticized for cracking down on secular and left-wing activists, as well as Islamists close to the Muslim Brotherhood.
During their White House talks, Trump praised Sisi for “doing a great job,” saying the United States and Egypt had “never had a better relationship.”
Egypt is one of the biggest US strategic partners — an Arab country that made peace with top US ally Israel 40 years ago and a major recipient of American aid.