Cleric who backs Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to leave Qatar

Cleric who backs Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to leave Qatar
Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi throw stones at riot police and army personnel during clashes near Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo August 14, 2013.

CAIRO - A cleric who supports Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood has said he will leave Qatar, following media reports the Gulf Arab state has asked some senior members of the Islamist movement to quit the country.

"Thanks to Allah, I have decided to move from dear Qatar, without any pressure or difficulties or problems," said the cleric, Wagdy Ghoneim, in a video on his Facebook page.

Qatari officials were not immediately available for comment.

Egyptian newspapers reported on Saturday that Qatar had asked seven senior members of the Brotherhood to leave the country within a week.

Ties between Qatar and Egypt have been strained since Egypt's then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year.

Qatar has hosted a number of senior Brotherhood figures since the Egyptian army launched a crackdown on the movement, killing hundreds in the streets and arresting thousands of others.

Qatar's support for the Islamist group has put it at odds with other Gulf monarchies, which see the Brotherhood as an existential threat to their dynastic rulers.

The tensions between Qatar and its neighbours caused Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to withdraw their ambassadors from Doha in March.

Egypt has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist movement. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful group.

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