Syria is top item as US, Turkish leaders confer

By Associated Press | March 25, 2012 | 9:47 AM EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, talks with Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their bilateral meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, March, 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Barack Obama said he and Turkey's prime minister are looking for ways to bring about needed change in Syria as that nation's leadership continues a bloody crackdown on civilians.

Obama met with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday ahead of a nuclear security conference in South Korea. Turkey shares a border with Syria and has been a key player in trying to stop violence that has claimed an estimated 8,000 lives over the past year.

Erdogan said, "We cannot remain a spectator to these developments."

Both leaders spoke at the end of their meeting.

Turkey hosts a meeting of the diplomatic group known as the "Friends of Syria," next week to show Syrian President Bashar Assad a united front against his repression.