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Published: Wednesday, 1/21/2009

Obama calls Middle East leaders


WASHINGTON President Barack Obama has stepped into the Middle East peace effort by placing calls to four leaders from the region.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama called the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan on Wednesday morning.

Gibbs said Obama emphasized that he would work to consolidate the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Gibbs said Obama expressed "his commitment to active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term." Obama also expressed his hope for continued cooperation from the leaders.

Obama called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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