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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid