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#Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu urges #Russia to de-escalate tensions arising from plane downing

By Tajuddin
In TOP STORY
Dec 4th, 2015
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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Baku, Azerbaijan (Xinhua + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Visiting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Friday urged Russia to de-escalate tensions between Turkey and Russia arising from the recent downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish air force.

Turkey has always attached importance to relations with Russia, Davutoglu said here, urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to resolve the dispute over the plane downing through diplomatic means.

Turkey neither intends to escalate the situation regarding the downing of the Russian warplane, nor would apologize to Russia for the incident, Davutoglu said at Azerbaijan’s ADA University here, pointing out that Russia’s accusations of Turkey stabbing Moscow in the back are groundless.

“Turkey can also state that by violating its airspace, Russia stabbed Ankara in the chest,” the PM said, adding that Turkey had confidence in solving this crisis through talks.

“We didn’t shot down the Russian plane over Syria’s territory…The plane was shot over Turkey’s territory. Moreover, there were no insignia on it,” Davutoglu said.

On Nov. 24, NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 Fencer jet for allegedly violating its airspace. One of the two Russian pilots aboard was killed by militants when parachuting from the burning jet, while the other was saved by Russian and Syrian forces. A marine was also killed on a rescue mission to retrieve the second pilot.

On Saturday, Putin slapped a set of sanctions on Turkey in response to Ankara’s refusal to make any apology for the incident.

The package of sanctions include bans on some Turkish exports, a prohibition on hiring of Turkish nationals from next year and a suspension of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.

“The Russian sanctions against Turkey won’t knock our country down…Moscow should open diplomatic channels to resolve this crisis instead of imposing sanctions against Turkey,” Davutoglu said.

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