Obama urges Turkey, Russia to talk after plane downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday urged Russia and Turkey to avoid escalation over Turkey's downing of a Russian plane along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The leaders said details are still emerging on the incident.

"Turkey, like every country, has the right to defend its territory and its airspace," Obama, speaking alongside Hollande, said at a joint news conference 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.

Hollande said, "We must prevent an escalation. That would be extremely damaging."

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Julia Edwards, Doina Chiacu, Tim Ahmann and Megan Cassella; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Will Dunham)