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Unrest Forces Cancellation of Joint Egyptian-US Military Exercises

US marines look out from their amphibious tank during an amphibious assault exercise with Egyptian forces in Bright Star war games, on Egypt's north west coast, Sept.15, 2005 (file photo)

U.S. military officials say that the United States and Egypt have canceled the large-scale maneuvers scheduled for later this year.

U.S. Army Major T.G. Taylor, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations across the Middle East, said, “Exercises have been postponed in a joint-decision of the Egyptian and U.S. governments due to political unrest [and] political change in Egypt.”

Egypt’s military-run interim government has faced continued protests and a push for greater political reform since a popular uprising forced Egypt’s long-time President Hosni Mubarak from power earlier this year.

Major Taylor says the “Bright Star” military exercises normally are held every two years. They are a multi-national training exercise conducted in Egypt, and co-hosted by Egypt and the United States. Officials say the exercises are intended to strengthen military-to-military relationships and improve readiness among U.S., Egyptian and Coalition forces. Past participants in the exercises include countries from Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.

U.S. military officials say the United States and Egypt have pledged to begin planning 2013’s exercises by the middle of next year.

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