U.S. Sen. John McCain R-AZ said on Thursday that the United States had develop a new policy and needed to do a better job of encouraging democracy amid a wave of protest in Middle Eastern countries.
The United States is going to have to develop a new policy, McCain said in televised comments when asked if the situation in Egypt was testing the limit of U.S. influence and diplomacy in the region following protests in other areas of the Middle East such as Yemen, Jordan and Tunisia.
This virus is spreading throughout the Middle East and proves what a lot of us have said for a long time about the universality of human yearnings, that all of us are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights and we will have to do a better job of encouraging democracy, McCain said.
I think that the President's statements and comments have so far - I support them. And it's hard for me - and I do not want to tell the President what he should do but I do think that what a lot of us should be advocating for is an orderly transition, a government composed of the army of pro-democracy forces and individuals who would keep things calm and an open and free election process for the elections in September and I realize this is fraught with danger. I realize the influence of extremist organizations as well as Muslim Brotherhood but I don't think the status quo is something that could lead to anything but much more violence.
On Tuesday, after speaking with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Obama said his administration stood for a set of core principles.
He said those included opposition to violence; supporting universal values such as freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom to access information; and speaking out on behalf of the need for change.
I spoke directly to President [Hosni] Mubarak, Obama said. He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place.
However he also said it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt's leaders. Only the Egyptian people can do that.
Obama said told Mubarak my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now.
Mubarak has vowed to step down by the country's September elections.