The Republican senator explained that he believes US military aid is helping to fuel anti-American sentiment in the region, which is currently very high.
McCain explained his position on CNN’s State of the Union program on Sunday. USA Today reports that the Arizona politician asserted:
“We have no credibility. We do have influence, but when you don’t use that influence, then you do not have that influence.”
He pointed out Apache helicopters as an example in Egypt, calling them a symbol of “the United States of America siding with the generals.”
Both Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham visited Egypt last week to meet with general Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and interim president Hazem el-Beblawi, notes The Guardian. Their goal was to broker an agreement between the Egyptian military leaders and pro-Morsi supporters.
But it appears the deal did not go through. Since then, Graham and McCain have called for the United States to suspend the foreign aid it sends to Egypt to show the nation it is serious about returning to democracy.
Egypt has been in turmoil for more than a month after its first democratically elected president was ousted by the military at the beginning of July. The violence escalated on Wednesday when the military cleared two sit-ins involving Morsi-supporters. The violence has killed almost 900 people.
While President Obama has made a statement condemning the unrest in Egypt, he has not yet announced any plan to halt foreign aid. However, the US president did cancel the country’s upcoming joint military exercised with Egypt.
It is unclear what effect McCain’s comments will have on relations between the United States and Egypt. Do you believe that John McCain is correct to say the US has no credibility in the Middle East?