U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said today the U.S. “should continue to try to be a voice of calm in Egypt” as the nation’s military-led government cracks down on Muslim Brotherhood protesters.
Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that although he “appreciated much” of what President Barack Obama had to say on the violence today and its “arms-length disapproval of the military’s actions, I wish he had stressed more clearly the need for the Muslim Brotherhood to also act responsibility.”
The senator also voiced “hope the White House is actively working with other countries in the neighborhood behind the scenes to reduce tensions between the parties and get the democratic process back on track.”
Earlier in the day, Obama told reporters the U.S. would pull out of scheduled joint military exercises with the Egyptian Army.
“While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets,” The New York Times quoted Obama saying.
Obama condemned the latest violence that has left more than 500 demonstrators dead and thousands wounded. But he stressed the U.S. did not intend to abandon its decades-old partnership with the Egyptian military.
Corker is traveling in the Middle East this week, visiting countries including Turkey, Iraq and Jordon and speaking with U.S. and foreign officals regarding regional political and security issues. That includes the conflict in Syria, violence in Egypt and threats of sectarian violence and terrorism in the region.
On Thursday, he was involved in meetings with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and other top leaders. Corker met earlier in the week with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. On Monday, he met in Turkey with leaders of the Free Syrian Army.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...