Senators John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (R) confer at the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington March 5, 2013.
US Senator Lindsey Graham has expressed the Obama administration’s concerns over the fallout of the latest turmoil in Egypt for the Israeli regime.
“If Egypt goes and Israel is surrounded by more and more radical regimes ... we’ll regret not doing everything possible to keep Egypt on track as a stable society,” he said on Tuesday signaling Washington’s interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.
The hawkish Republican made the remarks after President Barack Obama asked him and Senator John McCain to travel to Egypt next week.
Egypt has been gripped by deadly violence since the military ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically-elected president, on July 3.
“The president asked Sen. McCain and myself to go to Egypt next week, so we’re trying to find a way to get there,” Graham told reporters.
“So we can go over and reinforce in a bipartisan fashion the message that we have to move to civilian control, that the military is going to have to, you know, allow the country to have new elections and move toward an inclusive, democratic approach,” he added.
The Obama administration has refused to suspend its annual 1.5 billion dollars aid to Egypt despite condemning the bloody violence in the country.
Under US law, financial assistance to any country whose elected head of state is deposed in a military coup is prohibited. The White House has shied away from calling Morsi’s ouster a military coup.
However, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has introduced a measure that would end US aid to Egypt. The Senate was set to vote on the measure on Wednesday.
“We tell other countries to follow the rule of law, yet our own administration fails to do so. Sending money to Egypt under their current military coups is illegal,” Paul said in a statement. “Instead of illegally sending that money overseas, we are better off spending that money at home.”
Senator Graham said a vote now could send the wrong signal.
“If you cut off aid, that’s a destabilizing event,” Graham said, while a vote for aid would “give people the impression everything’s fine.”