Obama Cancels Military Exercises With Egypt, Condemns Violence

President Barack Obama canceled military exercises with Egypt and suggested aid cuts could come in light of the most recent violence in the Middle Eastern nation.

Obama spoke with reporters on Thursday, saying that the US government “strongly condemns” the violence in Egypt. However, he added that the US will continue to engage in talks with the country’s interim government to help it transition back to democracy.

Some lawmakers and policy analysts are calling on Obama to cut all aid to Egypt, reports USA Today. However, it appears the administration won’t do that, at least for now.

However, speaking from his vacation home at Martha’s Vineyard, Obama stated, “But 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.”

Violence in Egypt this week has so far killed more than 600 people and injured about 4,000. NBC News notes that the US president added that the “Egyptian people deserve better” than what has happened in the country in the past few days.

Operation Bright Star, a joint biennial military exercise with the US and Egypt, was supposed to take place in the Sinai region next month. However, that will not happen. Obama hinted that further steps may be taken in the coming days.

The US president already halted the planned delivery of F-16 fighter jets after the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi last month. The US State Department added that it will review aid to Egypt “in all forms.”

The latest streak of violence began when Egypt’s security forces cleared two Cairo sit-in camps of pro-Morsi protesters. The violent clearing of the protests triggered a backlash across the country that resulted in the interim government declaring a month-long state of emergency. It also imposed a night-time curfew.

Do you think President Obama is right to cancel military exercised with Egypt? Should the US government stop providing the nation with foreign aid?

[Image via spirit of america / Shutterstock.com]

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