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Obama calls Egyptian president third time in 24 hours

NBC's Domenico Montanaro reports on what the continued fighting in Gaza could mean politically for President Obama, U.S. foreign policy, and the balance of power in the Middle East.

 

YAKOTA AFB, Japan — President Barack Obama spoke with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for the third time in a 24-hour period while flying back from a trip to southeast Asia aboard Air Force One.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said the call was to continue the discussions both presidents have had about Egypt's ability to help end the rocket-fire in Gaza. 

"He also underscored that President Morsi's efforts reinforce the important role that President Morsi and Egypt play on behalf of regional security and the pursuit of broader peace between the Palestinians and Israelis," Rhodes said of the call, which occurred en route a refueling stop in Japan following Obama's three-day trip overseas.

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This call comes as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes her way to the region to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with Palestinian and Egyptian leaders. It is unclear about whether she will sit down with Morsi while in the Middle East.

Rhodes said the president has made clear that the primary objective at this moment is the deescalation of violence, and commended Morsi for sharing that goal.

"Without an end to rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, Israel can't be assured of the security of its people," Rhodes said.

The president believes the "preferred outcome" of all of the leaders involved is an end to the loss of life in the region.