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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) listens as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) addresses a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spoke by telephone on Tuesday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to offer his condolences for those killed and wounded in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on Dec. 31 for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility, the White House said in a statement.

Obama also welcomed Turkey's efforts to facilitate a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and a return to political negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition, the statement said. 

(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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