U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza had come at a crucial time for countries of the Middle East.
"This is a critical moment for the region. Egypt's new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone for regional stability and peace," she said at a joint news conference with her Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Kamel Amr.
She also thanked Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi for his mediation efforts and pledged to work with partners in the region "to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel".
Reporting by Shaimaa Fayed in Cairo and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Michael Roddy