US Senator John McCain arrived to Cairo on Tuesday and is expected to meet a number of Egyptian officials, including President Mohamed Morsy, and opposition figures during his three day visit.
McCain will meet with President Mohamed Morsy, according to state-owned MENA. The senator will also meet with Essam Al-Haddad, Assistant to the president on foreign relations, who met with high ranking US government officials in Washington DC last month.
Members of the Shura Council and opposition figures will also sit down with McCain. He is expected to discuss Egypt’s democratic transition and will participate in exchanges with government officials about regional issues, especially the conflict in Syria and the situation in Palestine.
McCain was critical of President Morsy in November after his 22 November constitutional decree by calling it a “power grab,” saying the decision “is not what the United States and American taxpayers expect, and our dollars will be directly related to the progress towards democracy,” in response to debt relief offered by the US administration to Egypt.
Media spokesperson of the National Salvation Front (NSF) Khaled Dawoud confirmed that the opposition group had assembled a committee that plans to meet McCain.
However, not all parties plan on meeting the US delegation. Media spokesman for Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party, Mohamed Al-Mohandes, said in a statement that McCain’s killing of Vietnamese during the Vietnam war as a US soldier, his support for the war in Iraq, and his “absolute” support for Israel were good enough reasons for no political forces to meet with the senator.
Al-Mohandes added that McCain’s visit last year with the Muslim Brotherhood carried a bad connotation of the US’s role in Egypt’s internal politics, and enhanced the perception US meddling in Egyptian political affairs.