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Senators favor measured U.S. response in Egypt

July 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- A key Republican senator said Sunday the United States was promoting calm in Egypt following the ouster of its elected president by the military.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told "Fox News Sunday" the Obama administration was urging both sides of the political turmoil to keep the situation under control.

"I received a call late last night from the administration, and I know they're involved in trying to calm all both sides," said Corker, ranking GOP member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "I think that's what our role should be right now."

Egypt has been roiling in recent weeks, culminating with the military's removal of President Mohammed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi's allies called the ouster a coup while the military said it had to step in as Morsi's government grew increasingly ineffective and authoritarian.

Corker said the key was restoring calm and urging everyone inside and outside Egypt to allow the transition to a new elected civilian government to proceed quickly and with transparency. "What we should be doing right now is urging calmness," he said. "Urge the military to move through this civilian process as quickly as possible, and to ask the Muslim Brotherhood to act with some degree of responsibility."

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., another member of the committee, told Fox proposals to cut off foreign aid to Egypt would have to be considered carefully because of the country's strategic importance in the Middle East and the fact the Egyptian economic woes were feeding the discontent in the streets.

"On a practical basis, we have to look and ask the very simple question: will cutting off aid accelerate or enhance the opportunities and the chances to have a truly democratic government?" said Reed.

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