Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi rejected on Thursday what he called Israel's aggression in Gaza and said he had spoken with US President Barack Obama about ways to bring it to a halt.
"The Israelis must understand that we do not accept this aggression, which can only lead to instability in the region," Morsi said in televised remarks, as Israeli air forces pummelled Gaza and militants fired rockets back in a deadly tit for tat.
"Shortly before dawn, I called President Obama and we discussed the need to put an end to this aggression and to ensure it does not happen again," he said.
"We discussed ways to promote calm and to stop these acts... and to achieve peace and security."
"I explained Egypt's role, Egypt's position, that we have relations with the United States and the world, but at the same time we totally reject this aggression."
Morsi, who said he had also spoken with UN chief Ban Ki-moon, said he agreed with Obama to continue "to communicate... to prevent an escalation."
Egypt's Islamist administration, which has close ties with Gaza's ruling Hamas movement, recalled its ambassador on Wednesday in protest at the Israeli operation, which began with the targeted killing of a top Hamas military commander.
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