WASHINGTON, Nov 16, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
U.S. President Barack Obama and
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a telephone
discussion on Friday about the escalating violence in Gaza and
Israel, the White House said.
Voicing their concerns on the safety of civilians on both
sides, the two leaders called for an end to the violence,
according to a statement issued by the White House.
Obama and Erdogan agreed that "the continued spiral of violence
jeopardizes prospects for a durable, lasting peace in the region,"
said the statement, adding that Obama had underscored his
commitment to advancing the goal of peace in the Middle East.
Prior to Friday's conversation with Erdogan, Obama talked on
the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi respectively on Wednesday about
the escalating violence in Gaza.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday that
Washington has asked Cairo to use its influence with the
Palestinians to help calm the violence.
Fighting has escalated between Palestinian militant groups and
Israel. Over the past three days, more than 550 rockets launched
from Gaza have landed on Israeli territories, most of them
targeting communities in southern Israel.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces have been carrying out air strikes on
targets in Gaza. Palestinian hospital officials said 23
Palestinians have been killed and more than 250 injured in more
than 400 Israeli air strikes all over the Gaza Strip since