U.S., Egypt Scrap Joint Military Drills

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) — The United States and Egypt agreed to scrap military exercises planned for the region because of the political events in Egypt, the U.S. State Department said.

The U.S. Central Command takes part in the biennial, multilateral military Exercise Bright Star. The drills involve forces from the United States, Egypt and European and Arab allies.

The State Department announced that both sides decided to scrap the 2011 drills and focus on planning for 2013 joint military exercises.

“The Egyptian government and the United States mutually agreed to postpone the 2011 exercise in light of ongoing transition events,” the State Department said.

Egyptian military leaders who have been leading the country after the revolution are facing public criticism they’re moving too slowly on political reforms.

Ousted President Hosni Mubarak, meanwhile, is on trial, along with his sons and former interior minister, for the deaths of unarmed demonstrators during the country’s revolution.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that anti-American sentiment in post-revolution Egypt was at a high. The report points to a cover of a July edition of a state-run news magazine depicting U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson lighting dynamite with a burning wad of U.S. dollar bills. The title of the edition reads in Arabic “Ambassador From Hell Is Setting Tahrir on Fire.”

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