News / USA

US Senators Press Egyptians to End Crisis

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) speaks as Senator John McCain looks on during a news conference in Cairo, August 6, 2013.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R) speaks as Senator John McCain looks on during a news conference in Cairo, August 6, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
As international diplomatic efforts continue to help defuse Egypt's ongoing political crisis, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have joined visiting foreign emissaries in meeting with Egyptian leaders.

Following their talks Senators Graham and McCain told journalists that "democracy is the only road forward” and stressed that “all Egyptians have the right to participate if they do so non-violently.” Both urged the “release of prisoners” of the Muslim Brotherhood by the interim military government and Graham called for a quick return to national dialogue

"In a democracy you have to sit down and talk with each other, even though you may not like the person on the other side of the table. It is impossible to talk to somebody who's in jail. That is not a sustainable model that will allow transition to occur. How do you get moving back in Egypt? One: violence will kill literally and figuratively the future of Egypt. Four-hundred maybe have died. If 400 more die, it's going to be very difficult to put this country back on track," he said.

Both men said that they think Egypt's recent political developments represent what they called “a coup,” but Graham stressed that the U.S. did not cut off aid to Cairo “because it would send the wrong signal to do so.” He added, however, that Egypt is on the wrong track:

"The status quo is unacceptable. Do you all agree with that? You live here. Something has got to give. One of two things are going to happen: things are slowly going to get better, and that means releasing some prisoners and beginning to talk, or they're quickly going to get worse, which means people are going to start dying, and that to me is the worst outcome," he said.

McCain called Egypt the “heart and soul of the Arab world,” and said that whatever path it took would be a “model for the rest of the region.”

The senators arrived in Cairo Monday, joining mediation efforts of U.S. envoy William Burns, European Union envoy Bernardino Leon, and the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S, lawmakers are prominent members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee and are veteran practitioners of U.S. foreign policy. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the men were representing the U.S. Senate and not President Barack Obama.

Shuttle-diplomacy between Egypt's interim leaders and representatives of ousted President Morsi has been criticized by members of both camps, but appears to have won at least tacit approval.

Some supporters of both the interim government and the embattled Muslim Brotherhood group say outside mediators should not interfere in Egypt's internal political affairs.

Prominent writer Ala'a al Aswany says that Egypt's justice system should handle the case.

"It is unacceptable for foreign diplomats to negotiate safe-passage for politicians who have criminal charges pending against them," he said. "Egyptians should resist this outside pressure.Neither the U.S., the E.U., nor any other country has a right to interfere in judicial cases against Muslim Brotherhood officials who have broken the law."

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Haddad also slammed outside mediators, insisting they were “trying to convince the Brotherhood to accept the new political reality, but that the group refuses to do so."

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Comment Sorting
by: markjuliansmith from: Australia
August 07, 2013 1:59 AM
2013: Egyptian Military ouster a Fascist religious genocide construct Islam
"McCain visits Egypt, calls ouster of President Morsy a 'coup'"
1933: German Military ouster a Fascist secular genocide construct Nazi
"McCain visits Germany, calls ouster of Chancellor Hitler a 'coup'"
McCain clearly does not understand what 'Democracy' means.

by: Basam Gahgah from: USA
August 06, 2013 6:54 PM
how does it serve our interests...? the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization... it was a terrorist organization under Nasser... the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Saadat... what the hell are we doing...???

by: kmnhg from: DC
August 06, 2013 4:02 PM
U.S. Sen. John McCain known as the Maverick says this summer's ouster of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was "a coup," a description that goes against the statements so far from the Obama administration...United States helps Egypt because it's one of only two Arab countries along with Jordan that have made peace with Israel. If Washington pulls its aid, it could affect prospects for peace in the Middle East in other words All Middle Eastern countries expect the two mentioned above have been giving a blind eye to Israelis atrocities but now Even Egypt is cutting ties with Israel.It's about time Israel put their act together or it will find itself surrounded by all middle eastern countries that wish to get out of the map. No one will be to blame but the Israelis themselves.
"The relationship of the past is no longer available to us in America," Graham said in his statement emphasizing on the military coup as well as referencing past U.S. support for ousted Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak. That relationship was not beneficial to the Egyptian people, he said, but "the politics of convenience are behind us in America."
War on Terror or Terrorism of Wars has wide range of unspecified agendas for long time to come; to occupy the Arab heartland and to offer extended strategic and political supremacy to Israel in the Middle East,to control and manage the oil and gas resources of the Arab Middle East, to inject fear and powerful hegemonic influence of the Western culture and varied civilizations,· to divide and rule the Arab and Muslims people from distance powerhouses, to create new markets for the dollar and to block trade-business entry of China into the exclusive American Middle East market, to entice ignorant Arab population with false imagery of freedom, liberty and social justice and make the mindless rulers fearful of the US-Europe influence in their future-making, to distract attention from the decadent Western cultures and civilizations as Huntington warned them of its crumbling and immediate implication for the future,To dismantle the socio-economic and political infrastructures of the Arab-Muslim world, encouraging internal strife and sectarian bloodsheds and making them subservient to the US-European military and economic subjugation And so many other short-long terms implications.

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