Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson affirmed that the British government was examining visa applications by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, their charity work, and international links.
Johnson, while speaking to diplomats and experts at the Foreign Office in London, called for enhancing engagement with Muslim populations, arguing that blaming Western intervention for the rise of extremism serves the terrorists’ narrative.
He said the West needed to collectively re-insert itself in the process towards peace in Syria and called for the United States to bring fresh impetus to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Muslim Brotherhood was one of the most politically savvy operators in the Muslim world, Johnson said, yet he criticized its conduct in the Middle East and Britain. Johnson continued: “It is plainly wrong that Islamists should exploit freedoms here in the UK – freedoms of speech and association – that their associates would repress overseas and it is all too clear that some affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood are willing to turn a blind eye to terrorism.”
Johnson admitted there had been policy missteps in Iraq and Syria interventions, but said that did not justify a diplomatic retreat from the region. “British foreign policy is not the problem, it is part of the solution,” he said, calling for a renewed role in Syria, more work to halt conflict in Yemen and progress in bringing factions together in Libya.
His remarks come a day after the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, drawing international criticism. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that decision was wrong, and Johnson repeated the government criticism that the US move was premature.
“We think that the future of Jerusalem must be settled as part of the negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and as part of the two-state solution,” he said. “This decision, having been announced by President Trump, the world would like to see some serious announcements by the US about how they see the Middle East peace process and how to bring the two sides together.”
The Guardian mentioned that Britain's Foreign Secretary in London is to visit Iran end of this week.