First Published: 2013-08-18

 

McCain leads chorus calling for suspension of US aid to Egypt - again

 

US Senator says Washington risks losing credibility if it continues to turn blind eye to violence.

 

Middle East Online

For McCain, it’s a question of US ‘influence’

WASHINGTON - US lawmakers on Sunday called for cutting off military aid to Egypt after four days of violence that resulted in the death of hundreds across Egypt.

US Senator John McCain, who called for suspending the $1.3 billion in annual aid to the military after it overthrew Morsi in early July, said Washington risked losing credibility if it continued to turn a blind eye to the “bloody crackdown.”

"They have orchestrated a massacre," he said, after the four-day death toll from mass shootings and street clashes climbed to more than 750 people.

"We have no credibility. We do have influence, but when you don't use that influence, then you do not have that influence," McCain, a Republican hawk and frequent critic of Obama's foreign policy, told CNN's "State of the Union."

McCain suggested Washington could pressure Egypt's generals by cutting off aid, spare parts for US-made military equipment and backing for an International Monetary Fund loan to relieve the country's devastated economy.

"For us to sit by and watch this happen is a violation of everything that we stand for," he said.

Senator Rand Paul, a rising star in the Republican Party, also called for cutting off aid, saying on "Fox News Sunday": "I don't think we are buying any love of the Egyptian people when they see an American tank on the street."

Obama last week canceled joint military exercises but has yet to suspend aid to Egypt, a key Middle East ally and one of just two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.

The administration has refused to call Morsi's overthrow a "coup," which would require it to cut off aid, saying it hoped to steer the country toward a democratic transition.

Democratic Senator Blumenthal said the administration should "condition our future aid on specific steps toward the rule of law and the return to democracy."

"We shouldn't cut off all aid. There are no good choices here. But of the two, there is more opportunity to protect American interests if we work with the military," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

The military has defended its overthrow of Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, as a response to massive protests against his rule. It has blamed the violence on Morsi's Islamist backers, whom it refers to as "terrorists."

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli