News / Middle East

US Senators Press Egyptians to End Crisis

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) speaks as compatriot Senator John McCain looks on during a news conference in Cairo, August 6, 2013.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) speaks as compatriot Senator John McCain looks on during a news conference in Cairo, August 6, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said they have urged Egypt's interim leaders to free Islamist figures from prison to facilitate a dialogue on resolving the country's political crisis.

McCain and Graham spoke in Cairo Tuesday after meeting Egyptian military chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.  The senior U.S. lawmakers traveled to Egypt at the request of President Barack Obama, who sought their help in encouraging Egypt to return to democratic rule.

Addressing reporters at a news conference at the U.S. embassy, Graham said he believes it is "impossible" for the Egyptian government to hold a dialogue with someone "who is in jail."

Egypt's interim authorities have detained senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including former president Mohamed Morsi, since ousting him from power on July 3.  Authorities accuse the prominent Islamists of incitement to violence.

Graham said that if the detained political figures have committed crimes, the Egyptian justice system should deal with those in the future.

McCain said all parties in Egypt should engage in dialogue on a democratic political transition, provided they renounce violence.

The two senators also criticized the overthrow of Mr. Morsi as a "coup," marking a departure from the Obama administration, which has said it views the incident as part of a process of "restoring democracy."

The Egyptian military said it acted against Mr. Morsi in response to the will of millions of secular and liberal Egyptians who staged nationwide mass protests calling on the Islamist leader to quit.

Morsi had taken office one year earlier as Egypt's first democratically-elected president, but critics accused him of monopolizing power in the hands of the Brotherhood and threatening their secular lifestyle.

The Brotherhood said a meeting between one of its jailed senior leaders and international envoys on Monday was terse and unproductive.

Khairat el-Shater, the deputy chief of the Brotherhood, met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and European and Arab diplomats.

A Brotherhood spokesman said Shater told the international envoys they were wasting their time and should be talking to Mr. Morsi.

The State Department said there are no plans for Burns to meet Morsi, who has been in detention at an undisclosed location since July 3.

The Brotherhood has been holding two large round-the-clock vigils in Cairo to demand Morsi's reinstatement.

Security officials have threatened to break up the protest camps.  The United States has urged Egyptians to avoid violence.

The interim government has said it will put Shater and Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie on trial August 25. T hey are accused of starting violence that led to the deaths of protesters outside Brotherhood headquarters in June.  Badie remains at large.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More