The Washington Times - January 28, 2011, 05:47PM

Sen. John McCain on Friday called the Egyptian government’s crackdown of political demonstrators this week “deeply troubling” and asked President Mubarak to show restraint.

“I am extremely concerned about the ongoing events in Egypt,” said the Arizona Republican in a prepared statement sent to reporters late Friday afternoon. “President Mubarak has been an important and valued friend of the United States, but the response of the Egyptian government to the ongoing protests, and to the broader demands of its citizens, is deeply troubling.”


McCain also said he was “disturbed” by reports that Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei was assaulted by Egyptian security forces and is under house arrest.

“I call on the Egyptian government to release him immediately, along with other peaceful protesters, and for all parties to refrain from the use of violence,” McCain said.

“The demonstrations in Egypt underscore the just demands of the Egyptian people for political, economic, and social reform.  I urge the Egyptian government to heed this call by taking concrete and immediate steps to address the legitimate grievances of Egypt’s citizens.”

McCain also called the disturbances in Egypt this week “a pivotal moment for U.S.-Egyptian relations.”

“The actions and decisions of the Egyptian government in the hours and days ahead could have significant implications for our bilateral relationship, including U.S. assistance,” he said.

Rep. Kay Granger, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, also called on Egyptian officials to show restraint.

“While Egypt has long been an important ally of the United States and has been a critical, stabilizing force in the Middle East, I call on the Egyptian government to exercise restraint when responding to the protestors,” said the Texas Republican in a prepared statement.

“I urge the opposition to show restraint as well. Violence will not yield a positive outcome for either side.”