Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi hold a copy of the Koran and Mursi's picture at Talaat Harb Square, in Cairo, January 25, 2015. A bomb wounded two Egyptian policemen in Cairo on Sunday and security forces moved quickly to disperse small protests on the anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, officials said. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4MSGL

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group has praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his refusal to blacklist the movement as a “terrorist” organisation.

In an interview last week with the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television channel during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Erdogan said he did not consider the Brotherhood a terrorist group.

“This honest and fair position by Erdogan was not strange from a man who has always adopted strong and unbiased positions,” Brotherhood deputy leader Ibrahim Munir said in a statement on Monday.

“This was not an unusual move by Turkey, a country that has always striven to help the oppressed for the sake of freedom and an honourable life,” he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been the target of a fierce crackdown by the Egyptian authorities since a 2013 coup ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president and a Brotherhood leader.

In late 2013, Egypt’s post-coup authorities blacklisted the Brotherhood as a “terrorist” organisation.

In recent days, the administration of US President Donald Trump has reportedly been thinking about blacklisting the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.

Munir, for his part, said his movement would not abandon its peaceful efforts to bring about political change.

“The Brotherhood will never disappoint Erdogan — or any other of the movement’s defenders — no matter what the pressures are,” he said.

In the interview, Erdogan said he considered the Brotherhood an “ideological” organisation rather than a “terrorist group”.

“I don’t consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation as it is not an armed group. It is, in fact, an ideological organisation,” he said.

Turkey has remained a vocal critic of Morsi’s 2013 overthrow by the Egyptian military, describing his ouster — and subsequent imprisonment — as a “military coup”.

[This post was originally published by Middle East Monitor.]