Republican Senator John McCain called for a suspension of United States military aid to Egypt following the army ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
“I’ve thought long and hard about this, but I believe that we have to suspend the aid to the Egyptian military, because the Egyptian military has overturned the vote of the people of Egypt,” McCain said Friday, according to the AFP news agency.
“We cannot repeat the same mistakes we made at other times in our history by supporting the removal of freely elected governments,” the 2008 presidential candidate said.
“So I believe that the aid has to be suspended, that the Egyptian military has to set a timetable for elections and new Constitution, and then we should evaluate whether to continue the aid or not.
“And I am aware that by suspending aid to the Egyptian military, which is the only stable institution in Egypt, we are risking further problems in the Sinai, and in other areas of cooperation with the Egyptian military,” McCain said, according to AFP.
“I say that with great reluctance, but the United States of America I think must learn the lessons of history and that is: we cannot stand by without acting in cases where freely elected governments are unseated by the military arm of those nations,” he concluded.
President Barack Obama has thus far only said the US administration is “deeply concerned” by the turn of events, adding he has ordered a review of “the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.”
American law requires all military and economic aid be suspended when a government is overturned by the military.
The U.S. gives some $1.3 billion in military aid each year to the Egyptian army.