Washington: Top Republican Senator John McCain on Thursday said a "bogus" film had been used to stir up anti-US sentiment in the Middle East, and it was "disturbing" to see violence against American missions.
"I interpret it as an effort to stir up sentiment against the United States, using this bogus, quote, `film`," McCain told CNN in an interview when asked about the latest protest in Yemen, a day after violent mobs stormed the US embassy in Cairo and its consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the tragic death of its ambassador to Libya.
"Yemen is basically a failed state. It is more disturbing that in Cairo, we have been unable to have the Egyptian government exert control.”
"The host nation`s responsibility is to protect an embassy, but at the same time, Egypt is of vital importance to us, to the Middle East, to peace there, to everything. It`s the cultural and historic centre of the Arab world," he said.
McCain praised the condemnation of the attack by Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi.
"But these are very difficult times. And this virus is probably going to spread to other countries in the Arab world," he observed.
Noting that Egypt has a pretty big Army and they could have protected US embassy in Cairo, McCain said it is understandable why Americans are very upset.
"But I would also like to point out again that Egypt is critical. And we have to be very careful and measured in our response," he said.
McCain agreed with the statement of US President Barack Obama that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.
"I think the President is basically right. I hate to get into these word parsings but they have gone from a staunch ally under Mubarak to one which is obviously seeking a country that`s seeking its own way.”
"But we have to have a good relationship with them or we should make every effort to have a good relationship with them. But we also have the right to demand certain things, as we`ve already talked about protection of our embassy, not sheltering terrorist groups, preventing the kinds of incidents that just took place from happening in the future," he said.