Obama Canceling Joint Exercise with Egypt’s Army

August 15, 2013  

U.S. President Obama said Thursday that the United States “deplores” and “strongly condemns” violence in Egypt, and as a result is canceling U.S.-Egyptian military exercises scheduled for next month. 

He said the United States believes the Egyptian government’s “state of emergency should be lifted” and a process of reconciliation must begin.

Obama did not suspend other forms of aid to Egypt. He said saying U.S. “engagement” with the military government in Cairo will help Egypt make the transition back to democracy.

Obama also refrained from describing the removal of former president Mohammed Morsi as “a coup.” Doing so would have meant an end to U.S aid to Egypt, which totals about $1.3 billion a year. Most of this aid goes to Egypt’s military.

The U.S. and Egypt were scheduled to conduct joint military maneuvers in mid-September, in an exercise known as “Bright Star.” This exercise, said Obama, will have to be canceled.

Obama, who is on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, spoke from his holiday home there.

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