(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone to make Egypt's mediation efforts easier in order to reach a durable ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians, his press office said in a statement issued on Saturday. "The Secretary-General urged the Prime Minister to return to calm (in Gaza) and encouraged him to take steps to facilitate the Egyptian efforts. He stressed the importance for the parties to establish a durable ceasefire with a view to a resumption of meaningful negotiations on a two-state solution," the statement said. Discussing the crisis in Gaza, Ban stressed the "need for the parties to return to the ceasefire negotiations under Egyptian auspices," and "reiterated that the United Nations stands ready to support any agreement the parties may reach." Ban's call to Netanyahu late Friday came in the context of a number of consultations the UN Chief is holding with key regional and international leaders in an effort to ease the situation in Gaza as a result of the six-week conflict that resulted in the death of more than 2,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians.