Muslim Brotherhood denounces Coptic Patriarch

The Muslim Brotherhood has denounced the visit to Israel by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, calling Tawadros II’s trip to Tel Aviv a betrayal of pan-Arab solidarity. On 28 Nov 2015 Tawadros led a delegation of Coptic Orthodox leaders to attend the funeral of the Coptic Archbishop in Jerusalem, Anba Abraham, who died last week at his home near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Following the Camp David Peace Accords in 1979 which normalized relations between Egypt and Israel, Tawadros’ predecessor, Pope Shenouda III, forbad Egyptian Copts from visiting Israel. A church spokesman said Tawadros was not making an official visit to Israel and had not met with Israeli government leaders. “The visit is to attend the funeral and nothing more,” church spokesman Boulos Halim told AFP, adding the church’s official stance on Jerusalem remained unchanged. The Muslim Brotherhood, which was overthrown in a popular uprising last year denounced the pope for softening the church’s stance towards Israel. “Many people were hoping for a positive attitude from the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, in this crisis. Instead, he reneged on his promise not to visit the Zionist entity, and quickly accompanied the Israeli Ambassador on his plane to Jerusalem to open a new era of unacceptable normalization with Egypt’s enemy,” a statement on the group’s English-language website said. The Muslim Brotherhood further claimed Tawadros “participated in the military coup” that removed the Islamist group from power.

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