US President-elect Barack Obama said Tuesday that he was "deeply concerned" about the loss of civilian life in Gaza and Israel in his first comments on the ongoing hostilities. He also pledged to engage "effectively and consistently" in trying to resolve Middle East conflicts as soon he takes office, on January 20. "It's not only right for the people in that region. Most importantly, it's right for the national security of the American people and the stability that is so important to this country," he said in a brief press availability in Washington focusing on the economic crisis. Obama reiterated his earlier stance that there is only "one president at a time" and that for now US President George W. Bush speaks for the American government and people. Until his inauguration, he said that he is monitoring the situation and being briefed on developments in the region. Obama nevertheless stressed that, "The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern for me." He added that, come January 20, "you will be hearing directly from me and my opinions on this issue."