In a statement issued Thursday morning from Chilmark, President Obama condemned the continuing violence in Egypt and announced that the United States will cancel joint military exercises with the Egyptian government.
“The Egyptian people deserve better than what we’ve seen over the last several days,” the president said, speaking at a morning briefing for the traveling press pool outside the vacation home he is renting off South Road.
“The cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop.” President Obama said he had just finished a briefing with national security advisors, and has notified the interim Egyptian government that the United States is canceling biannual joint military exercises. Advisors are assessing the situation and considering “further steps,” Mr. Obama said.
At a briefing in Edgartown Wednesday morning, principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said the president is receiving briefings throughout his vacation. National security advisor Susan Rice is traveling with the president.
“America cannot determine the future of Egypt,” President Obama concluded in the Thursday statement.
“That’s a task for the Egyptian people. We don’t take sides with any particular party or political figure.”
After the press conference, the president returned to his Vineyard vacation routine and headed back to the golf course. The motorcade arrived at Mink Meadows, a public golf course in Vineyard Haven, just after 11 a.m. His golfing buddies today are chef Sam Kass and staffers Marvin Nicholson and Mike Brush.