Yesterday, President Barack Obama held a press conference to discuss the latest occurrences of violence in Egypt. The president gave the press conference during his family's annual vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
President Barack Obama used his time at the press conference to update Americans on the United States’ position on the ongoing violence in Egypt. He stated that the government strongly condemned the interim government’s violence against opposition protestors. The president stated:
“The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces. We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest. We oppose the pursuit of martial law, which denies those rights to citizens under the principle that security trumps individual freedom or that might makes right. And today, the United States extends its condolences to the families of those who were killed and those who were wounded.”
Mark Lander and Peter Baker of The New York Times reported that the president took the opportunity to announce at the cancellation of scheduled military exercises between the United States of America and Egypt. They wrote:
“President Obama announced Thursday that the United States had canceled longstanding joint military exercises with the Egyptian Army set for next month, using one of his few obvious forms of leverage to rebuke Egypt’s military-backed government for its brutal crackdown on supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.”
President Obama also emphasized the need for the Egyptian government to respect the rights of their people and end the state of emergency. President Obama said:
“We believe that the state of emergency should be lifted, that a process of national reconciliation should begin, that all parties need to have a voice in Egypt’s future, that the rights of women and religious minorities should be respected and the commitments must be kept to pursue transparent reforms of the constitution and democratic elections of a parliament and a president.
The president and the United States government will continue to monitor the happenings in Egypt.