Today I called Egyptian Minister of Defense Al-Sisi to discuss the U.S. - Egypt defense relationship. Since the recent crisis began, the United States has made it clear that the Egyptian government must refrain from violence, respect freedom of assembly, and move toward an inclusive political transition. Recent developments, including the violence that has resulted in hundreds of deaths across the country, have undermined those principles. As President Obama has announced, the United States military will not conduct the Bright Star training exercise scheduled for later this year.
In my discussion with Minister Al-Sisi, I reiterated that the United States remains ready to work with all parties to help achieve a peaceful, inclusive way forward. The Department of Defense will continue to maintain a military relationship with Egypt, but I made it clear that the violence and inadequate steps towards reconciliation are putting important elements of our longstanding defense cooperation at risk.