WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey spoke on the phone Wednesday about conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the fight against Islamic State militants, the White House said.
The White House said regional security remained a top priority, and pledged to work closely with Turkey on a number of fronts.
The leaders spoke about “deepening our ongoing cooperation in the fight against ISIL and common efforts to bring security and stability to Iraq and a political settlement to the conflict in Syria,” the White House said in a statement, using an acronym for the IS group.
Obama also offered condolences over recent attacks in Turkey, after a suicide attack blamed on the Islamic State group killed 32 people in the small town of Suruc across the border with Syria.
The attack was the deadliest in Turkey since 2013 and prompted a reprisal by a Kurdish militant group which killed two Turkish police.
Obama “conveyed condolences on behalf of the American people to the families of the victims, and the two leaders affirmed that the United States and Turkey stand united in the fight against terrorism,” according to the statement.
They also said they would strengthen efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria, and secure Turkey’s border, a popular entry point for militants looking to join the IS group.
“The president reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to Turkey’s national security,” the White House said.