Senator Bob Corker, R-TN, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement today regarding the violence in Egypt.
“The United States should continue to try to be a voice of calm in Egypt. I appreciated much of what the president had to say, and while it reflected an arms-length disapproval of the military’s actions, I wish he had stressed more clearly the need for the Muslim Brotherhood to also act responsibly. I hope the White House is actively working with other countries in the neighborhood behind the scenes to reduce tensions between the parties and get the democratic process back on track,” said Corker.
Senator Corker has been traveling to portions of the Middle East this week, including Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, to speak with U.S. and foreign officials regarding regional political and security issues, particularly the conflict in Syria, violence in Egypt, and the threat of sectarian violence and terrorism in the region.
Arriving in Turkey on Sunday, Senator Corker met with members of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, including opposition commander Brigadier General Salim Idriss. On Monday, Senator Corker visited with U.S. service members operating the U.S. Patriot missile battery near the Turkish border with Syria. Later in the day, he visited a refugee camp on the Turkish border for the second time since the conflict began. At Kilis camp, Senator Corker met with refugee leaders, camp administrators and a number of individual Syrian refugees.
On Tuesday, Senator Corker traveled to Iraq for meetings in Baghdad with U.S. Ambassador Robert Stephen Beecroft, leaders from Iraq’s Christian minority, and Iraqi National Security Advisor Faleh al-Fayad. The next day, Wednesday, he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Humam Hamoudi. In the Kurdish capital of Erbil, Senator Corker met with former Kurdish Prime Minister Barham Saleh and Fouad Hussein, chief of staff for Kurdish President Masoud Barzani.
In Jordan on Thursday, he had a series of meetings with top political and military leaders, including King Abdullah II, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, GID Director Faisal Shobaki and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mishaal Zaben.
Additional information on Senator Corker’s trip will be made available as security precautions allow.