US lawmakers call for an end to Egypt military aid

US Senator McCain called for the suspension of annual Egypt military aid after its security forces killed hundreds of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi since last Wednesday

US lawmakers call for an end to Egypt military aid


World Bulletin/News Desk

US Senator John McCain, Arizona Republican, called for the suspension of  $1.3 billion aid to Egypt's military government after its security forces killed hundreds of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi since last Wednesday.

 “We could be cutting off the aid,” as well as cutting off economic assistance, tourism and exports, he said, but the administration is “not sticking to our values.”

Mc Cain said the US has lost its credibility in the Middle East due to the Obama administration's inaction in Egypt. "We have no credibility. We do have influence, but when you don't use that influence, then you do not have that influence,”  McCain told the CNN.

 He also accused the interim regime of preaching “anti-Americanism.”

“We are much more hated and much less respected than we were in 2009,” in the Middle East region, McCain said.

Asked Sunday if he still believes a suspension would indirectly damage the Jewish state, McCain said there would be a “risk.”

“But I also would point out that the Mubarak regime and this regime is stoking anti-Americanism to a large degree, and anti-Israel rhetoric is very high,” he said. “I believe that Israel can defend itself, although it may be of some cost to them, but look at the cost of American credibility."

McCain said the Obama administration’s handling of Egypt is just one sign of what he described as the president’s lack of foreign policy in the Middle East.

"There is no policy, and there is no strategy. And therefore, we react and we react poorly,” he said.

Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte and Bob Corker who had voted to maintain aid, also agreed that the  US should withdraw assistance.

Keith Ellison, Republican Senator and the first Muslim elected to Congress, wanted the US to halt the aid saying "the US should cut off aid but engage in intense diplomacy."

He also added that aid should be suspended until Egypt ends "the bloodshed in the street" and sets up a path toward democracy.

However Republican lawmakers are split over whether the US should cut off aid to Egypt. Republican Pete King  said cutting off aid could reduce US influence over Egypt’s interim government, adding “I’m reluctant to cut off aid."

Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said  the US should not suspend aid to Egypt despite the Egyptian military’s crackdown on protesters supporting deposed President Morsi.

“Obviously, we cannot let what’s been happening just happen, but I think we have to be careful and not cut off our nose to spite our face,” Engel said.

Jack Reed, Democratic Senator,  said that recent events in Egypt demand a “change” in US assistance. But he emphasized that the United States must remain engaged in Egypt.

"The acts of the last few days by the Egyptian military are completely unconscionable and I do believe we have to change our aid," said Reed. "I think also we have to have included in the legislation a national security waiver because we have to give the president not only the responsibility to deal with the government of Egypt but also flexibility."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ağustos 2013, 11:44