Feinstein: Egypt's civilian government must take charge

July 28, 2013 at 2:32 PM

WASHINGTON, July 28 (UPI) -- The United States is watching for signs the new military-backed leadership in Egypt will exercise a degree of independence, a senior U.S. senator said Sunday.

Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said on CNN's "State of the Union" the level of leadership from interim President Adly Mansour and his administration would have a bearing on whether Washington considers the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi a "coup" -- which would require the United States to cut off foreign aid to Egypt.

"I think it's very important for this new president and vice president to exert their authority now," said Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "It will show whether a democracy, in terms of civilian control of the military, can effectively govern that country."

Feinstein told ABC the United States had no clear picture of where Egypt and its fledgling democracy was headed, but it was necessary for Congress to review its current aid policy toward Egypt, particularly military aid.

Feinstein said the course Washington takes will depend in large part on what happens in Cairo.

"I think the ball is in Egypt's court, and it's in the court of the President Mansour and the Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, and they have to step up, and they have to take over," she said.

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