United States Secretary of Defence calls Al-Sisi

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
The United States secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel  (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
The United States secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By Mostafa Salem

The US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel phoned defense minister General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to discuss the current political climate, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little announced Tuesday.

Little said Hagel talked about “how the current transition needs to be marked by inclusivity” and the importance of avoiding “politicized arrests and detentions.” Little added that Hagel asked Al-Sisi “to take steps to prevent further bloodshed and loss of life.”

The phone call came in the wake of EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton’s visit, where it was announced that she met with ousted president Mohamed Morsi at his undisclosed whereabouts.

The call occurred following last week’s clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi as well as the Ministry Of Interior.

Hagel advised Al-Sisi to try constructing a bipartisanship by building on and utilizing Ashton’s visit in order to initiate a “reconciliation process.”

His phone call came after US President Barack Obama asked two senior republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, to visit Egypt. Both are part of the Armed Services Committee and have been frequent commentators on the Egyptian situation within the senate.

Graham told reporters outside the senate: “The president reached out to us, and I said obviously I’d be glad to go…We want to deliver a unified message that killing the opposition is becoming more and more like a coup,” reported Reuters.

“I may come to think we need to cut off aid, but I’d like to go over there and talk to the military and to any members of the government and Brotherhood factions to find out what is going on the ground,” Graham said.

In July, previous presidential candidate John McCain was asked on US television whether he considered what happened in Egypt a coup and said: “It was a coup and it was the second time in two and a half years that we have seen the military step in… reluctantly I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election.”

McCain has previously advised the US government to suspend military aid in November 2012 calling on the US to condemn Morsi’s move regarding the constitutional decrees, saying it is “not acceptable; this is not what US taxpayers expect from Egypt, and our dollars should be directly related to the progress of democracy, which President Morsi promised at the start of his term.”

The Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Atty told the Daily News Egypt: “everyone is welcome to visit Egypt” and the “visit is being coordinated without sensitivities towards who is visiting.”

McCain and Graham are considered harsh critics of the current US foreign policy and other domestic issues where Graham initially asked Obama to reconsider Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defence.

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