President Obama: 'The Egyptian People Deserve Better'

U.S. president urges Egyptian interim government to end its recently-enacted state of emergency.
11:00 | 08/15/13

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Transcript for President Obama: 'The Egyptian People Deserve Better'
This special report from ABC. Hello I'm Dan -- New York with the CBC news digital special report more than 500 dead nearly 3000 injured. Egypt is on lockdown after the military took back control and clashed with pro more C supporters. The Muslim Brotherhood now -- on for another million man march 1 of the US's biggest allies in the Middle East now on edge. We when he announced the president who is making a statement on his vacation at Martha's Vineyard let's listen in. In an art supplies to the Egyptian people. Forced through a longstanding partnership. Just over two years ago America was inspired by the egyptians people desire for change. As millions of egyptians took to the streets to defend their dignity. And demand the government was responsive to their aspirations for political freedom and economic opportunity. We said at the time the change would not come quickly or easily. But we did align ourselves with a set of principles. Nonviolence. Respect for universal rights. And -- process for political and economic reform. In doing so we were guided by values but also by interests because we believe nations -- more stable. And more successful when they're guided by those principles as well. And that's why we're so concerned by recent events. We appreciate the complexity of the situation. Well Mohamad Morrissey was elected president in a democratic election. -- government was not inclusive. And did not respect the views of all egyptians. We know that many egyptians millions of egyptians perhaps even a majority of egyptians were calling for a change in course. And while we do not believe that force is the way to resolve political differences. After the military's intervention several weeks ago the remained a chance for reconciliation. And an opportunity to pursue. A democratic path. Instead. We've seen a more dangerous path taken. -- arbitrary arrests. Have broad crackdown on mr. Morse these associations. And supporters. And now tragically. Violence -- -- the lives of hundreds of people and wounded thousands more. 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. -- that might makes right. And today the United States extends its condolences to the families of those were killed. And those who were wounded. Given the depths of our partnership -- -- Our national security interest in this pivotal part of the world and our belief that engagement and support they transitioned back to. -- democratically elected civilian government. We've sustain our commitment to Egypt and its people. But while we want to sustain our relationship with the our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians -- being killed in the streets. And rights are being rolled back. As a result. This morning we notify the Egyptian government that we are canceling our biannual joint military exercise which was scheduled for next month. Point forward I've asked my national security team to assess the implications. Of the actions taken by the interim government. And further steps that we may take as necessary -- respect to the US Egyptian relationship. -- say that the Egyptian people. Deserve better than what we've seen. Over the last several days. And -- the Egyptian people let me say the cycle of violence. And escalation needs to stop. We call on the Egyptian authorities to respect the universal rights of the people. We call on those war protest -- to do so peacefully. And condemned the attacks -- we've seen by protesters. Including on churches. We believe that the state emergency should be lifted. The process of national reconciliation should begin. That all parties need to have a voice in Egypt's future. But the rights of women and religious minorities should be respected. And the commitments must be kept. Pursue transparent reforms the constitution. And democratic elections -- parliament. And a president. Pursuing that path will help did you meet the democratic aspirations of its people while attracting the investment. Tourism and international support. They can help it deliver opportunities. To its citizens. Violence on the other hand will only feed the cycle polarization. That isolates egyptians from one another. And from the world and that continues to hamper the opportunity for Egypt to get back on the path of economic growth. -- make one final point. America cannot determine. The future major. That's -- test for the Egyptian people. We don't take sides -- any particular party or political figure. I know it's tempting inside of Egypt to blame the United States or the west or some other outside actor. For what's gone wrong. We've been blamed by supporters more -- We've been blamed. By the other side -- if we are supporters of Morse. That kind of approach will do nothing to help egyptians. Achieve the future that they deserve. We want Egypt to succeed. We want a peaceful democratic. Prosperous -- that's our interest. But to achieve that the egyptians. Are gonna have to do the work. We recognize the change takes time. And that a process like this is never guaranteed there are examples. In recent history. Countries that are -- transition outs out of brave military government. Towards a democratic government and -- not always going to straight line and the process was not always smoke. They're going to be false starts there will be difficult days. America's democratic -- took -- through some mighty struggles to perfect our union. Asia to the Americans we know that democratic transitions are measured not in months or even years but sometimes in generations. So in the spirit mutual interest and mutual respect. -- be clear that America wants to be a partner. In the Egyptian people's pursuit of a better future. And we are guided by our national interest in this long standing relationship. But our partnership. Must also advance the principles that we believe. And that so many egyptians have sacrificed. For these last several years no matter what party or faction they belong to. So America work -- all those in Egypt and around the world who support a future of stability. The rests on a foundation of justice and peace and dignity. Thank you very much. Has a life -- and we've been listening to from the president on vacation from Martha's Vineyard there we heard the audio because enforcement press pool is not able to get. The video portion of that. But as we just heard the president mention -- the US strongly condemning the actions. By Egypt's interim government the military taking control as -- situation in Egypt is growing more intense by the day. In fact more than 500 people have been killed in -- clashes between supporters of the ousted president Mohammad Morrissey and those. That are opposite opposing him more than 3000 injured all ramping up from these clashes that have occurred in the most recent days. The president some of the bullet points that he pointed out this morning. Is point -- the fact that so when Mohammed Morrissey who was forced from power back in June the president -- in fact that. His government was not inclusive from the president even going so far as to say the perhaps even a majority of egyptians. Why did -- -- to be change and reform for the Egyptian government despite. More seat being democratically elected. And the president also offering condolences. To the families and friends in the victim's. Of those clashes between both sides of those more C supporters. And the president also outlining. That there is a sustained commitment from the United States to Egypt although there was a significant point in saying that the president and has said that the government has notified Egypt. And that the military has canceled the -- annual joint military exercise it was originally scheduled for next month. One of the ways in which the president has outlined the US -- Much watching these events unfold in Egypt one of the other things that the president did not say did not mention as the White House has not been saying. As the intensity has been growing in Egypt is that whether this has been called a coup or not -- crew in the big significance of that. Is that if in fact we're determined to be -- crew it would automatically from. -- cut off any kind of finances from the US government to Egypt as it stands right now. The US funds about one point three billion dollars annually to support the Egyptian government and military protection over there. And that kind of a declaration of a coup would certainly call something like that. Into jeopardy president not mentioning anything along those lines of that this morning. Take a look now. As you can see there that is -- bridge there -- that has seen demonstrations and clashes before but you can see right now traffic is moving. And it doesn't appear to be any demonstrations on either side in and out of Cairo this of course after several days. Of the intense fighting that has been going on there. With more than 500 people dead and more than 3000. Injured. We have a complete report on abcnews.com. Of the president's statement this morning and of course more developments as they occur. Right here time Dan -- -- New York with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special. Report from ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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