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US Lawmakers React to Crisis in Egypt

In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
U.S. lawmakers are urging a cautious response to rapidly-unfolding events in Egypt.

Republican Senator Bob Corker says the United States should aim to play a stabilizing role in the face of upheaval and uncertainty in Egypt. He spoke on the Fox News Sunday television program.

“Something has happened [in Egypt] that is going to provoke a lot of unrest for some time. It has implications in other parts of the region. But what we [the United States] should be doing right now is urging calmness, urging the military to move through the civilian process as quickly as possible,” he said.

Senator Corker added that there should be no snap decisions on the future of U.S. aid to Egypt. Also appearing on Fox was Democratic Senator Jack Reed, who urged a speedy resumption of democratic rule in Egypt.

“We have to be a force of stability and support for a very quick transition to a fully-elected democratic government. The military has to make clear what their timetable is, and they have to move to be inclusive. One of the problems with [ousted President Mohamed] Morsi, he was increasingly exclusive, increasingly authoritarian,” said Reed.

Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, Mohamed Tawfik, disputed any suggestion that his country has suffered a military coup.

“What has happened is that the people of Egypt have decided that President Morsi did not act during his year in office as president for all Egyptians," he said. "Twenty-two million Egyptians wrote petitions demanding early elections. My advice to the Muslim Brotherhood is, they need to acknowledge the mistakes they made, and they need to join the [political] process. Let us look ahead to the future.”

The ambassador spoke on ABC’s This Week. Also appearing on the program was former U.S. President George W. Bush, who said that democracy needs time to take root. Bush said the Arab Spring will benefit both the Middle East and the United States in the long term.