YOKOTA, Japan - US President Barack Obama called Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to discuss the conflict in Gaza and press for diplomacy to cool the violence, the White House said on Tuesday.
Obama's call to Mursi, made while the US president was flying from Cambodia to Japan, was the third conversation he had with the Egyptian leader in roughly 24 hours, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with the president.
On the call, Obama stressed the importance of de-escalating violence in Gaza and commended Mursi on the role he has played so far, Rhodes said.
"Egypt plays a very important role in this process," Rhodes said, adding that the White House believes that Mursi is sincere in his desire to restore calm.
"The president believes that the best way forward here is to have a diplomatic effort that restores calm," the White House adviser said.