Egypt: U.S. scraps military drills, but not aid
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The U.S. State Department is warning Americans to leave Egypt immediately for their own safety. It comes as Egypt's government estimates more than 600 people have been killed in clashes between government troops and supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.
A curfew is now in place, part of a state of emergency declared in the nation.
President Obama decried the violence in a speech Thursday from Martha's Vineyard. The president was also led to cancel a scheduled joint exercise with the Egyptian military.
Solving the Egyptian crisis is critical as what happens in Egypt could easily impact what changes happen across the Middle East and across the Muslim world, not to mention impact commodities in the U.S.
"Not just oil, but as I said, it's really values. Culture, democracy, the stability of the region is something that we have major interest in," says American University professor Mohammad Abu-Nimer.
Abu-Nimer believes the solution lies in the Muslim Brotherhood accepting a peaceful resolution with the military.
Native Egyptian Adel El-Adawy with the Washington Institute says with the Muslim Brotherwood adamant to fight, there's not a chance of peace happening anytime soon.
"Much more violence," he says. "The Muslim Brotherhood has made it very clear they will continue to fight. We're going to see two sides fighting each other out..."
For El-Adawy, it's also personal. His entire family is in Egypt and while he talks with them daily, there is still uncertainty and concern after the most recent violence.
"I am a little bit worried. Although all the signs are negative I still remain on a personal level optimistic that Egypt will be able to come out of this crisis," El-Adawy says.
That may take a while, though, which puts the six-month deadline to restore democracy in Egypt in jeopardy. And while the president had strong words for the interim Egyptian government, he made no reference to scaling back the more than $1 billion in annual financial support the U.S. provides to Egypt.