Obama calls for easing tension between Turkey, Russia

US President Barack Obama stated on Tuesday that tension between Turkey and Russia should be avoided after a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the sidelines of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris.

Speaking to the reporters following the meeting, Obama said “The United States supports Turkey’s right to defend itself and its air space … We discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions and find a diplomatic path to resolve the issue,”.

Naming the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as “common enemy”, Obama said U.S. efforts to persuade Russia to focus its airstrikes in Syria against the ISIL.

Obama also expressed eagerness of the US to accelerate work on its military-to-military relationship with Turkey to ensure its NATO ally was safe and to help resolve the conflict in Syria.