Turkey’s foreign minister urges dialogue with Russia to overcome tensions

Turkey’s top diplomat stresses that in line with the international rules, the Turkish Air Force downed the Russian jet that had violated the airspace.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told national television on Friday Ankara calls for continuing dialogue with Russia to ease tensions after downing of Russian warplane last month.

"All the leaders call for calm amid the crisis in the Turkish-Russian relations. Naturally, that’s because no one wants tensions," Cavusoglu said in a live interview on NTV.

"Russia should revise its emotional position," Cavusoglu said, adding: "We call for common sense."

Turkey’s top diplomat stressed that in line with the international rules, the Turkish Air Force downed the Russian jet that had violated the airspace. He insisted that Ankara "had no idea at that moment that this was a Russian plane."

Cavusoglu said he had a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov shortly after the incident. "We spoke for around an hour. Then we met in Belgrade. The Russian side said it sought no escalation."

"Lavrov said about this in a telephone conversation. And we said that there is the need to have communication channels open for solving the situation. Sergey (Lavrov) was not against it," he said.

Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a low after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations. Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

First published by TASS.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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