US – Egypt military exercise Bright Star 2017 begins in Mohamed Naguib base

The biennial joint American- Egyptian military exercise Bright Star 2017, kicked off on Sunday, marking the first time the US has participated in the joint exercise since the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The exercise is being held at Mohamed Naguib military base, in al-Hammam City, west of Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea, expected to last until September 20, with the participation of about 200 American personnel. The last time Bright Star was held, in 2009, some 1,300 US soldiers and Marines took part.

The joint exercise dates back to the early 1980s, following the signing of the Camp David Accords during President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

Bright Star was carried out every other year since — until 2012, when the exercise was canceled due to political instability in Egypt after Former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

Then-President Barack Obama canceled the exercise in 2014 over allegations of human rights abuses by the Egyptian government.

According to the US Central Command, the Bright Star exercise is based on the strategic security relationship between Egypt and the United States, a historic partnership that plays a leading role in combating terrorism, regional security and efforts to combat violent extremism.

Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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