By Mehmet Nuri Ucar and Suhib Mohammad Nemed Abed
ISTANBUL (AA) - The Muslim Brotherhood said on Sunday that it prevented extremism within itself, denouncing a recent U.S. move to list it as a foreign terrorist organization.
Speaking at a gathering in Istanbul, Secretary General Mahmoud Hussein, stressed that the U.S. decision lacked any legal or political justification to add the organization on the terror list.
He added that the move seemed to be in preparation of Washington's "deal of the century" to end the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Hussein also underlined that members who fell into violence and extremism were expelled from the organization.
Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, accused Washington of double standards
"The U.S., which supports dictatorship in the Middle East, says it's worried about democracy in Turkey," he said.
Expressing suspicion on Washington's peace plan between Palestine and Israel, Maher Salah, a top Hamas official said his organization and the Muslim Brotherhood were against the deal which they believed was part of a pro-Israel colonial plot.
On April 30, the White House confirmed that President Donald Trump was seeking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.
"It is surprising that the formulation of the U.S. administration's tendencies is subject to repressive dictatorships in the Middle East instead of being consistent with the values and principles usually proclaimed by the American state," the Brotherhood said in a statement.
Founded in 1928, the Brotherhood was blacklisted by Egyptian authorities in 2013 following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a military coup led by then-General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the same year.
In addition to Egypt, the designation would squarely place the U.S. alongside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, who all blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz