News / USA

Obama Cancels Joint Military Exercises With Egypt

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the violence in Egypt while at his rental vacation home on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard in Chilmark, August 15, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the violence in Egypt while at his rental vacation home on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard in Chilmark, August 15, 2013.
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Kent Klein
— President Barack Obama, reacting to the Egyptian military’s deadly crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters, has canceled U.S. joint military exercises with Egypt.  The president spoke Thursday while vacationing at a resort in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
 
President Obama strongly condemned the mounting violence, the military-declared state of emergency and the crackdown on supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted last month.

“While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back," said President Obama.

“As a result, this morning we notified the Egyptian government that we are canceling our biannual joint military exercise, which was scheduled for next month.  Going forward, I have asked my national security team to assess the implications of the actions taken by the interim government and further steps that we may take as necessary, with respect to the U.S.-Egyptian relationship,"  said Obama.

Related video report from Cairo by VOA's Elizabeth Arrott:

Egypt Reeling in Aftermath of Wednesday's Violencei
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August 15, 2013
Egypt is counting the dead from Wednesday's security operations against supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. Government officials say more than 500 people, mostly civilians were killed, while the Muslim Brotherhood says the death toll is in the thousands. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.
With that in mind,  Obama said the United States would not hold its regularly scheduled drills with Egypt’s military.

But the president did not refer to the military takeover from the Morsi government as a “coup.”  By U.S. law, such a designation would require Washington to cut off more than $1 billion a year in aid to Egypt, most of it to the military.

Obama did say the military’s recent actions have been a step in the wrong direction.

“And while we do not believe that force is the way to resolve political differences, after the military’s intervention several weeks ago, there remained a chance for reconciliation and an opportunity to pursue a democratic path.  Instead, we have seen a more dangerous path taken," he said.

The president has said “America cannot determine the future of Egypt,” and that that is a task for the Egyptian people.  He acknowledged that, while his administration has not taken sides in the Egyptian dispute, both sides are blaming the United States.  Mr. Obama said that approach would do nothing to help Egyptians achieve the kind of future they deserve.

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by: ali baba from: new york
August 16, 2013 9:33 AM
Obama get some education about Muslim brotherhood behavior before jump into conclusion .you forget that they stay in power for one year and committed all human right abuses . they abuse the power. they let punch of fanatic ruled the country and abuse woman and minority. they kidnapped Christian girls and sold as a sex slave to Saudi. they burn churches. they want to execute a child for false accusation of urinating on Quran... now Obama has full sympathy to Muslim brotherhood . . is that a joke? do you know Mr. president that Muslim brotherhood is connected to terrorist . how many American soldiers killed in Afghanistan. do you know who did this crime return to Egypt and Muslim brotherhood treat them as hero..


by: TRAN LE VAN from: VN
August 16, 2013 1:36 AM
we are already very tired of Syria . we don't want to see a second Syria. that is EGYPT. stop violence right now.


by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
August 15, 2013 11:41 PM
The US is asking to reinstate former Egyptian President Morse to power, the only reason being Morse was elected democratically. Even Hitler was democratically elected as Chancellor of Germany. Will the US support any democratically elected person who turn out to be a dictator? There is no sanctity for a democratically elected government or for democracy. The internal security is of utmost importance, whether the government is democratic, dictatorship, communist, theocratic, sheikdom or kingdom. If there is anarchy in the country, the democratic government should resign and call for election.

Morse did not follow democratic process once he was elected. Morse and the Moslem Brotherhood lost the trust of the people. They should be removed from power. Democratically elected head of the state has no immunity for becoming a dictator. Obama cancelled the military exercise for the convenience of the military in Egypt and not as a protest or punishment. Obama should end the contradiction of supporting the return of Morse and the supply of billions of dollars to Egyptian military. There is no moral standing for the US to intervene in the internal affairs of Egypt or any country. The US should stop public support of Morse and stop the drain of billions of US dollars for military assistance to the Egyptian military.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
August 15, 2013 9:09 PM
It looks Egyptian military power affecting on politics is enormous than usual democratic countiries. I am afraid huge aid from US to the Egyptian military has thrived such power and obstructed the sound development of democracy in Egypt.


by: pilisugsug from: USA
August 15, 2013 5:19 PM
Can't Obama see what's going on in Egypt? What is wrong with our president? His foreign policy is utterly in chaos. Why would our president support the Muslim brotherhood whose history is contaminated with violence? I'm beginning to think that Obama doesn't have a sound mind. He seems possessed by some evil entity. Obama's rationale is absolutely out of the norm. I really believe our president is evil. A sound mind would actually see the big picture in Egypt, but not Obama.


by: Mohamed Mohsen from: Egypt
August 15, 2013 4:48 PM
If three years ago, someone would have told me Egypt will have a liberal government that will be struggling to establish a democratic, civil state that respects citizenship & equality, and separates religion from state but will be resisted severely by western democracies who will be trying to impose a fascist regime which despises the west and uses religion to manipulate voters' decisions and follows a belief of inequality between citizens and is prepared at an instant to revert to violence, I would have not believed a word.


by: pilisugsug from: USA
August 15, 2013 4:43 PM
Can't Obama see what's going on in Egypt? What is wrong with our president? His foreign policy is utterly in chaos. Why would our president support the Muslim brotherhood whose history is contaminated with violence? I'm beginning to think that Obama doesn't have a sound mind. He seems possessed by some evil entity. Obama's rationale is absolutely out of the norm. I really believe our president is evil. A sound mind would actually see the big picture in Egypt, but not Obama.


by: Ola Lentini
August 15, 2013 3:20 PM
good post


by: Mahatma Gandhi from: South Africa
August 15, 2013 1:54 PM
There was a coup..........no interim govt. U SMFs always twist the events and words to mask your own culpability.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 15, 2013 1:26 PM
What does it matter if you cancel it this year. There are many more years and the exercise can wait, after all there is no immediate need for military drill now. USA has been talking from both sides of the mouth. Nothing was done to caution Morsi when he was moving aimlessly like a drunken demon setting aside constitutional rule in preference for martial laws. Now it has become wrong just because the truth-loving Egyptians want the errors of their 2011 campaign corrected. It is not by calling off joint military exercise that you can prove the wrongs going on in the country, you should also pointedly condemn the Muslim Brotherhood's use of children in their siege camps, the maltreatment and conscription of minorities into their protest camps, and the coercion of others to swell their numbers in quest to return to unpopular islamist rule of the Muslim Brotherhood under Mohamed Morsi.

In Response

by: pilisugsug from: USA
August 15, 2013 5:02 PM
Obama is out of his mind.

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