CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said on Saturday there were “some indications” a ceasefire could be reached soon between Israel and Gaza Palestinians but he had no firm guarantees.
Egypt, which brokered an informal truce in October that has since collapsed, has said it is working for a new deal.
“There are some indications that there is a possibility of a ceasefire soon, but we do not yet have firm guarantees,” Mursi told a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who was visiting Cairo.
A senior Israeli official declined to comment on Mursi’s remarks. The same official earlier denied reports that an Israeli official would head to Cairo on Saturday night to sign a truce deal.
“We are striving with all seriousness to stop this aggression, to reach a ceasefire. We call on everyone to adhere to what has been agreed upon, and we hope for an agreement on that at the earliest opportunity,” said Mursi.
He said Egypt was working with a number of countries to achieve a truce, including Arab states, Western nations and Russia.
Erdogan said Turkey wished to see a ceasefire and that world powers were not halting Israel’s attacks. “The party having the disproportionate force is obvious,” he said.
Israeli aircraft bombed government buildings in Hamas-controlled Gaza and its “Iron Dome” defence system shot down a Tel Aviv-bound rocket on Saturday as Israel geared up for a possible ground invasion.
“If a land invasion happens, as some say, that forebodes terrible consequences in the region,” said Mursi.
As well as holding talks with Erdogan, Mursi also met Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who visited Gaza in October and broke the isolation the Palestinian group Hamas, which controls the Palestinian enclave.
Reporting by Ali Abdelatti and Patrick Werr in Cairo and Allyn Fisher-Ilan in Jerusalem; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Ralph Gowling