Senators call for interim government in Egypt
February 1st, 2011
01:33 PM ET
4 years ago

Senators call for interim government in Egypt

Washington (CNN) - Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is calling for an interim government to take over in Egypt between now and elections scheduled for September.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol, Graham said a temporary government should be made up of "factions that the people respect whose sole purpose is to create continuity until September."

Graham, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stopped short of calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down, saying he "wouldn't want some Egyptian telling me who should be president of the United States."

But he also made clear he thinks Mubarak's time is up.

"I don't see how, quite frankly, he can pull this off given what's going on in the streets of Cairo." said Graham.

"It is my view for what it's worth that the Mubarak government, unless something happens quickly, is going to have a hard time selling to its people a continuation of power," he said.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry also said he believes there should be what he called a "caretaker governance over these next months" in order to "help to transition Egypt to the future that its people want and that it deserves."

Graham said an interim government would be beneficial because it would "quell the violence and get people feeling confident in their future," and because it would "send a signal throughout the Arab world that change is coming."

The South Carolina Republican also noted that the Egyptian army is a "key" to helping make the transition, since it is a respected force in the country.

It is also why he adamantly dismissed any talk of withholding U.S. aid to Egypt, since most of it – 1.3 billion – goes to the Egyptian military.

"If you cut that aid, you will be cutting your own throat," said Graham.


Filed under: Egypt • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Republicans = Fascists

    Sen. Graham, you are not the POTUS or the SOS or SOD. Keep your 2 cents to yourself and stop meddling in other peoples affairs. This is for the Egyptian people to decide and no one else. MYOB!!!

    February 1, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. David

    Get it through to the POTUS. Just knew he was going to flip-flop on this one. How we could support Mubarek all these years and cry to the rest of the world about democracy is beyond me. Those who we vote in as our "leaders" only promote democracy when convenient. If they're getting something out of a deal then they turn a blind eye. That's how it works. The new boss wil be the same as the old boss. ElBadieri is a globalist stooge. No different than Mubarek. Check and see for yourself. He sits on the board of the International Crisis Group that is funded by the West (Ford Foundation, Carnegie and Gates Foundations and George Soros; you know, the usual suspects).

    February 1, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. xmatman

    The problem is that the people of Egypt would have no respect for an interim Government backed by complicit U.S. government; and I can't say I would blame them. Any help from inside the Washington Beltway, right now, would be tantamount to a rapist trying to comfort his victim. Perhaps Senator Graham should just go take a shower?

    February 1, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Sgt Schultz

    Stop interfering with Arab nations right to sovereignty. That's what created the mess in Iran and could create another headache in Egypt if radical take-over there as well. Stop sending Mubarak or his officials $ until they fix the mess they created. That would send a clear enough message. Although I don't think we should send ANY $ to the Mid-East. They have tons of their own $.

    February 1, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Just sit down boys, there will be plenty of time for political gain.

    February 1, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Jim Bonacum

    Just a thought here. It was said after 9/11 that Islamic extremists "hated us for our freedom". I never thought so. I always figured they were angry with us because we interfered in the politic of many nations in the Islamic world to ensure that their leadership would be friendly to American interests. This was surely the case in Iran and Egypt and continues to go on in Saudi Arabia and many other countries. I am sure all people hope to see a resolution of the situation in Egypt that will be peaceful and result in a better quality of life for the Egyptian people. I am also sure that some resolutions may be more beneficial to our interests than others. In fact I have concerns about Islamic fundamentalists seizing control and further destablizing and already unstable region. And while I can understand outsiders "rooting" for different factions the simple fact remains that the fate of Egypt is in the hands of the Egyptians. Were I an Egyptian I think my response to this would be to say mind your own business. This is not your country. How would you like it if Mubarak was going around saying we hope that the Americans raise taxes to deal with their deficit? Now is a time to stand back and let Egypt work out its own difficulties. So far there does not seem to be any bloodshed so there are no humanitarian reasons to become involved. For a nation that prizes freedom above all I think that appropriate position is to support the right of self determination for all people, whether we agree with their choices or not. Once these decisions have been made they may choose to be our allies or our adversaries. But whatever choices they make let them be theirs and theirs alone.

    February 1, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans said nothing and did nothing when the tea baggers marched the streets and carried racist signs in disgrace of our President and American people and now they have an opinion about what's best for Egypt. GO TO H...

    February 1, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. NC

    Stay out of it Senator Graham. Let the people of Egypt decide what they want.

    February 1, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Bill from GA

    Great idea, Sen. Lindsey, but where will the "factions that the people respect" come from without a government to organize elections to select them?

    February 1, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Christopher

    Go Egypt!

    February 1, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Marcus

    Mubarak's tenure as the leader of Egypt is way pass time to end.
    He is a dictator that helped US interests in the area and that help can't be simply ignored, like saying 'Oh you were useful in the past but now you're not so gooooood LUCK!!!'.
    For the sake of the relationships between the USA and its allies the govt can't simply do that.
    But also can't dismiss the manifestations in Egypt as 'fanatical islamists in motion' (which is totally untrue, the radicals are there too but nowhere near in position to be calling the shots)...

    February 1, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    There should be an interim government to CALM THE NERVES and then let the PEOPLE DECIDE in September!!!

    February 1, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. BILL, WI

    When the Muslim Brotherhood becomes a major political force in September, we will finally see how moderate they actually are.

    February 1, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. disgusted

    I'm sorry. I didn't know they had any authority on what Egypt does.

    February 1, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |