Obama Cancels Military Exercises With Egypt

President condemns new violence

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2013 9:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama interrupted his vacation today to condemn the violence in Egypt and announce that the US is canceling joint military exercises with the nation, reports CNN. "Our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual while civilians are being killed in the streets," said Obama in his brief address this morning. The move likely won't do much to appease critics who think the White House should be far more aggressive and, say, cut off its $1.3 billion in US military aid. But this is the "first concrete American response," notes the New York Times. "We appreciate the complexity of the situation," said Obama. While conceding that Mohamed Morsi's government wasn't exactly a pillar of democracy, Obama said the military should not have used force to oust him.

A peaceful political solution was still possible immediately after the ouster, but yesterday's violence shows that military leaders instead chose a "more dangerous path." The president called for the newly declared state of emergency to be lifted and asked "people who are protesting to do so peacefully." He spoke as the official death toll passed the 500 milestone, a figure certain to rise. The AP reports that Morsi supporters set fire to two government buildings today in Giza, home to the pyramids. The city is next to Cairo.

An Egyptian pulls a banner of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi near debris left at a protest camp in Nahda Square in Cairo Thursday.
An Egyptian pulls a banner of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi near debris left at a protest camp in Nahda Square in Cairo Thursday.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Egyptians mourn over the bodies of their relatives in El-Iman mosque at Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday.
Egyptians mourn over the bodies of their relatives in El-Iman mosque at Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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