Obama, Hollande call for avoiding escalation over Russian warplane downing
Updated: 2015-11-25 11:18
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Tuesday urged Russia and Turkey to avoid escalation after a Russian warplane was downed by Turkey.
"My top priority is going to be to ensure that this does not escalate," Obama said at a joint news conference with visiting Hollande at the White House.
"It's very important right now for us to make sure that both the Russians and the Turks are talking to each other to find out exactly what happened and take measures to discourage any kind of escalation," Obama said.
However, Obama stressed that Turkey has the right to defend its territory and airspace on the incident.
Earlier in the day, a Russian Su-24 crashed in Syria "allegedly because of gunfire from the ground," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
According to the Turkish military, the Su-24 had been warned 10 times in five minutes about its violation of Turkish airspace, before two Turkish F-16 jets "interfered".
After comments made by Obama, Hollande told reporters that "We must prevent an escalation. That would be extremely damaging."
Both leaders said the details about the incident are still needs to be investigated.