President Barack Obama is thanking the prime minister of Turkey, a key Muslim ally, for backing the U.S. on issues including Afghanistan and Libya.
But in comments to reporters alongside Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn), Obama steered clear of the hot-button topic of the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. Turkey supports the Palestinian move while the U.S. is strongly opposed.
The U.S. has asked Turkey not to allow its rift with Israel to widen. But when Erdogan spoke to reporters he, too, avoided the topic of Israel or the Palestinians.
Instead, Erdogan said Turkey and the U.S. have taken important steps in their relationship and will continue to do so.
The two leaders spoke before meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.