US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham took off for Egypt to meet with the country’s interim leaders. The two Republican senators are expected to arrive in Cairo on Monday.
Unlike McCain’s surprise trip to Syria earlier this year, the visit to Egypt was requested by US President Barack Obama.
They are slated to meet with interim President Adly Mansour, Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, reports CNN.
Egypt has been a bed of chaos since the country’s military ousted its first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, last month. Since then, Egypt has seen several deaths during protests by supporters and opponents of the former president.
But despite the military’s involvement in Morsi’s ouster, the US has not called the ouster a coup. Using the word coup would result in a $1.3 billion loss in foreign aid for Egypt.
As General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, explained, the cutoff “would limit our ability to have the kind of relationship we think we need with the Egyptian armed forces.”
Along with John McCain and Lindsey Graham, UN envoys are also expected to meet with Egyptian officials from the now-military-backed government. They will also meet with supporters of the ousted President Morsi, note the BBC.
The meetings are also taking place as the government plans on how best to break up two mass sit-ins in Cairo by Mrosi supporters. The government dropped leaflets from a helicopter urging people to go home. but it doesn’t appear the attempt to dissolve the sit-ins worked.
More than 100 Morsi supporters have been killed in the last month amid clashes between them and the opposition, as well as at the hands of the Egyptian military. While supporters continue to protest Morsi’s ouster, those who protested against him have started to show their support for the new government.
Do you think Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham will have a good impact on the talks in Egypt?