Corker says U.S. should try to apply calm in Egypt

The U.S. role with regard to Egypt should be to apply calm as much as possible, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Sunday.

"Our role right now should be one of applying calm, trying to get our partners in the region to do the same thing," Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Appearing on the same program, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) largely echoed Corker, saying, "we have to be a force of civility, support, for a very quick transition to a fully elected democratic government."

The Egyptian military ousted Mohamed Morsi from the presidency last week, and a dispute about future leadership is ongoing. The Obama administration has said it is not aligned with any particular group.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has called for the United States to suspend aid to the Egyptian military. Neither Reed nor Corker echoed his call.

"I think on a practical basis we have to look and ask a very simple question," Reed said. "Will cutting off aid accelerate or enhance the opportunities and the chances to have a truly Democratic government? I don't think so."

Said Corker, "there will be plenty of time to asses the aid issue." He later added: "Trying to jump to what we are going to do relative to support at this moment is not the place that we need to be."

Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Mohamed Tawfik reiterated his view Sunday that the ouster of Morsi does not amount to a coup.

"Egypt has not undergone a military coup and it is certainly not run by the military.  Today there is an interim president in place," Tawfik said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."

Updated at 10:30 a.m. 

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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