President Obama assures Erdogan of security of Turkish borders

ANKARA: President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Turkey and Russia to set aside tensions over the downing of a Russian warplane and focus on the common priority of combating the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan , the U.S. president vouched for the NATO ally's right to self-defense and pledged a solid U.S. commitment “to Turkey 's security and its sovereignty.” Yet he emphasized the need for Turkey and Russia to “de-escalate” their conflict and not get distracted from the campaign against IS and efforts to resolve Syria 's long-running civil war. “We all have a common enemy. That is ISIL,” Obama said. “I want to make sure that we focus on that threat.” After his meeting with Erdo?an, Obama said there has been some progress in sealing the border between Turkey and Syria but that there are still some “gaps” exploited by ISIL to bring in foreign fighters and sell oil. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter also named Turkey as one of the countries that needed to do more in the fight against ISIL, including tightening control of its border with Syria .(america.aljazeera)