By Jonathan Easley - 08/04/13 02:05 PM EDT
Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTrump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' Romney should endorse Clinton Graham: I'm still not supporting Trump MORE (R-S.C.) and John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return Groups urge Senate to oppose defense language on for-profit colleges MORE (R-Ari.) will travel to Egypt to urge the country to hold new elections and reinstall a democracy after the military succeeded in overthrowing the elected Muslim Brotherhood government.
“I know it’s dangerous, but we need to be there with our diplomats giving a unified message to Egypt,” Graham said.
The South Carolina Republican said President Obama and Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryGOP senator calls for China to crack down on illegal opioid Obamas to live in home of former Clinton press secretary: report Even in defeat, Trump could harm the country irreparably MORE called him and McCain and asked them to make the trip to urge the Egyptian military to hold new Democratic elections.
“The Egyptian military must move more aggressively toward moving control over to the civilian population….the military can’t keep running the country,” Graham said.
“The one thing that’s not sustainable is a military takeover of Egypt,” he added. “They’ve promised new elections and they need to deliver.”
Graham criticized the Muslim Brotherhood administration that the military recently removed from power, saying it needs to move the fight off the streets and “start playing politics.”
“The Brotherhood needs to get off the streets and back into the political arena and fight your differences there,” he said. “If this continues, Egypt is going to be a failed state and that’s why we’re going.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood needs to get off the streets so the economy can start anew and reorganize and have a political contest, not a contest of violence,” he continued. “I don’t want to abandon Egypt.”
Violent clashes have erupted in recent weeks between military forces and supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi, threatening to further destabilize the Mideast nation.
Some members of Congress, led by Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Defense: VA chief 'deeply' regrets Disney remark; Senate fight brews over Gitmo Paul ties release of 9/11 docs to defense bill Will Ted Cruz let it go? MORE (R-Ky.), have pushed to end U.S. aid to Egypt following the ouster of the country's freely elected president. A growing number of senators have called the government overthrow a “coup,” which puts Egypt in breach of U.S. aid standards.
The White House has declined to label the overthrow, worrying that doing so would add further chaos to the situation.
Graham said he wants to keep aid flowing to Egypt, but only if the country “moves toward democracy, not a military dictatorship.”