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Va. Lawmaker: U.S. Should Push For 'Democratic Transition' In Egypt

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From his post on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) is closely monitoring the unrest unfolding in Egypt.

Many in the Egyptian American community in the D.C. region are calling on President Obama to increase pressure on the Egyptian president to step aside. Some say the U.S. government should even threaten to cut off aid to the country.

Connolly says cutting off aid would be too drastic a step right now. But he says lawmakers must review the aid program and make sure Egypt isn't abusing its citizens' human rights.

"I think the United States can and should use all of its influence to make sure there is no further bloodshed and to make sure that the government moves swiftly to a more democratic transition," Connolly says.

Since Egypt is the largest ally the United States has in the Middle East, Connolly says keeping a good relationship with the Egyptian government is key.

"The stakes are very high in terms of what the outcomes may be," he says.

Connolly says he's hoping Egypt will hold fair, democratic elections to decide its next leader -– even if that puts a government in power that isn't as friendly to U.S. interests as the current one.

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