Obama Urges Turkey, Russia To Lessen Tensions, Focus On Islamic State Fight

President Obama urged Turkey and Russia to ease tensions by focusing on a common enemy: the Islamic State.

The relationship between the two countries has been frayed since Turkey downed a Russian jet in November. Turkey has refused to apologize, saying the Russian war plane crossed over into Turkish airspace. Russia has implemented a series of sanctions.

Reuters reports that Obama said that the United States supported Turkey's right to defend its airspace, but he also urged the two countries to "de-escalate tensions."

"We all have a common enemy. That is ISIL," Obama said using an acronym for the Islamic State, according to the AP. "I want to make sure that we focus on that threat."

Obama, who is attending a United Nations summit on climate change along with some 150 world leaders in Paris, is scheduled to hold a press conference this morning.

We'll listen in and update this post with the latest.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.