Subject: Pool Report #9
Pool Report #9
Yokota Air Force Base, Japan
November 20, 2012
Moments after landing, Ben Rhodes and Jay Carney came to the back to read out a call Potus made during the flight to President Morsi of Egypt. The call lasted 20 to 30 minutes and was the third between the two in the last 24 hours.
“It was an opportunity for them to continue the discussions they’ve been having and to speak in advance of Secretary Clinton’s arrival in the region,” Rhodes said. “President Obama underscored once again the importance of working for a de-escalation to the conflict in Gaza. He commended President Morsi’s efforts to pursue a de-escalation. And 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.”
He noted that Potus talked with Morsi at 11:30 p.m. Phnom Penh time after the East Asian Summit dinner, and then again at 2:30 a.m. before today’s call from AF1. “It indicates that Egypt plays a very important role in this process,” he said. Rhodes said no other calls were planned at the moment but that Potus would stay in close touch with PM Netanyahu. He would not discuss Secretary Clinton’s schedule beyond her plan to meet with Netanyahu after landing in Jerusalem later today.
Rhodes reiterated that any resolution has to involve the cessation of rocket fire into Israel. “Without an end to rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, Israel can’t be assured of the security of its people,” he said. He warned of “significant loss of life” if the situation cannot be de-escalated.
Thanks to fellow pooler Josh Gerstein who helped with quotes.
Peter Baker and Josh Gerstein