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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid