Speaking to reporters Thursday morning from Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama addressed the continuing deadly violence in Egypt that is said to have killed over 500 people, and blamed the current military-installed government for the violence.
“We appreciate the complexity of the situation,” Obama said. “We knew change would not come quickly or easily, but we asked for non-violence and respect” for the Egyptian people.
“The United States strongly condemns the steps taken by the interim government and Egyptian security forces, and we oppose the pursuit of matial law,” the president said.
Obama said the U.S. remains committed to “Egypt and its people,” but “our cooperation cannot continue as usual” with hundreds of people being killed on the streets.
To that end, Obama announced, the U.S. is cancelling “our upcoming joint military exercises,” Operation Bright Star, with Egypt.
“We want to be a partner [with Egypt], but out partnership must advance the principles we believe in – those with a foundation of justice, peace and dignity – and Egyptians have to do the work.”
“It’s tempting, inside Egypt, to blame the U.S. We have been blamed by supporters of Morsi and by the other side for supporting Morsi,” Obama said.
However, he added, “that approach will not help Egypt have the future they deserve – one that is “democratic and peaceful.”
The president extended the condolences of the U.S. to the families of the hundreds killed, and to the hundreds more injured in the continuing violence throughout Egypt