John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both Republicans, represent Arizona and South Carolina in the U.S. Senate, respectively.
We traveled to Cairo this week to support a U.S. and international effort to help Egyptians end their political crisis. We met with leaders from the civilian government, armed forces, political parties, civil society and the Muslim Brotherhood. We returned convinced that time is quickly running out to resolve this crisis, but that there is still a chance to do so if Egyptians of goodwill come together for the sake of their country, which is the heart of the Arab world and home to a quarter of its people.
We are longtime friends of Egypt and its armed forces. We have fought as hard as anyone over many years to maintain our vital foreign assistance to Egypt. We were early supporters of the 2011 revolution and have consistently spoken up for the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people. We were among the strongest critics of former president Mohamed Morsi’s undemocratic actions, and we sympathized with the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets last month to protest Morsi’s abuses of power. But as we said again this week in Cairo, we find it difficult to describe the circumstances of Morsi’s removal from office as anything other than a coup. Unsuccessful leaders in a democracy should leave office by losing elections.