WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama and Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn), have discussed ongoing unrest in Syria and Egypt.
The two leaders on Wednesday discussed foreign extremists fighting in Syria and the need for the opposition fighting President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR’ AH’-sahd) to be unified and inclusive. Violence from Syria’s two-year civil war has been spilling over into Turkey. Turkey is also concerned that Syrian Kurds seeking more power could embolden autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels in Turkey.
Obama and Erdogan also discussed Egypt and the need for a return to democracy. Both countries have been concerned that violence and unrest there could destabilize other parts of the region.
The White House says Erdogan requested the conversation, which took place while Obama was traveling in California.