Meet the Press   |  July 07, 2013

Menendez: Need to see civilian government as soon as possible

Foreign Relations Committee Chair Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., joins Meet the Press to discuss the developing situation in Egypt and how to move to a civilian government that is all-inclusive.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's talk about the u.s. response. you said back in march that american security assistance to egypt cannot be a blank check . do you think the administration failed to exert the pressure, a billion and a half in u.s. aid , to egypt to put more pressure on morsi at a time when he was becoming a wayward leader?

>> well, i do think that the reality is that this is a very nascent democracy. this country doesn't have a history of democracy . what we expect of democracy overnight is not something we're going to see here. we were trying to nurture along a path that would move the what really needs to happen, which is they need to get an egypt for all. that's the only theyway they succeed. that means participation in the government of all different sectors of egyptian society. and so, the reality now is what do we do and using our assistance as leverage at the end of the day --

>> how do we do that?

>> i'm sorry?

>> how do we use that leverage now?

>> look, i think first of all we have to make sure that the military gets the very clear message we want to see a transition to a civilian government as quickly as possible. i think we have to get a process in which we urge all of the parties to participate together, that we come to an election as soon as possible, that that can be put together, that we look at the possibility of a new constitution, and at the end of the day , you know, while we have already made some obligations on that $1.4 billion by no means have we made the overwhelming amount of that obligation. this is an opportunity to have a pause and say to the egyptians you have an opportunity to come together, you have to have the military understand that that's what we're looking for, a transition right away, as soon as possible from any efforts. they have shown themselves not to be interested in power directly because, just as in the mubarak uprising -- and these demonstrations were bigger even than the mubarak uprising -- they moved towards a transition to a civilian government. we just have to make sure that the transition this time is much better, more pluralistic, and that brings an egypt for all.