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Graham: Egypt needs to get back on track fast

Aug. 4, 2013 at 2:08 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood need to look at the big picture and get the country back on track soon, a senior U.S. senator said Sunday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would press that message when they visit Egypt in the coming days in order to prevent the situation in Egypt and the entire Middle East from deteriorating further.

"We need to put Egypt back to work," said Graham. "If this continues, it is going to be a failed state. That's why we are going there."

Graham said the Obama administration's message to Cairo is the military is not equipped to run the country and the Muslim Brotherhood needs to end its street protests and get "back into the political arena and fight your differences there."

Egypt carries great strategic significance in the Middle East, Graham said, and its destabilization would open the door to al-Qaida and other Islamist militants.

Egyptian Gen. Abdel al-Sisi, leader of the military, issued a scathing rebuke to the United States this weekend, telling the Washington Post the Obama administration had "turned its back" on Egypt.

Graham said the United States valued its relations with Egypt but reiterated the new government had to keep the country on the path to democracy rather than a "military takeover of Egypt."

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