Putin supports Egypt efforts to halt Gaza violence
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Russian President Vladimir Putin. REUTERS photoPresident Vladimir Putin told Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in a telephone call that Russia supports Egypt's efforts to halt the escalating violence in Gaza, the Kremlin said Friday.
"The Russian President said that he supports Cairo's efforts directed at normalising the situation," the statement said.
"The Russian head of state underlined the need to stop the armed confrontation and called on the sides involved in the conflict to exercise restraint and stop military actions resulting in civilian deaths," it said.
The remarks followed a visit to Gaza by Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, who vowed to intensify Cairo's efforts to secure a ceasefire and called on the international community to take responsibility for stopping aggression.
"Egypt will not hesitate to intensify its efforts and make sacrifices to stop this aggression and achieve a lasting truce," he told reporters.
President Morsi later called Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip a "blatant aggression against humanity".
Putin had on Thursday called on Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinians to "exercise restraint" and avoid further violence.
However Moscow has also condemned the "disproportionate" use of force in air strikes by Israel.