NATO chief asks Turkey to ease tensions with Russia

BRUSSELS, Dec. 01 (MNA) – The secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, on Monday asked Turkey to ease tensions with Moscow after the downing of a Russian bomber in Syria.

Stoltenberg suggested Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu the importance of taking measures to prevent the repetition of an incident like the one on November 24, when a Russian Su-24 plane was attacked by a Turkish F-16 fighter and was downed on Syrian territory.

The important thing is to reduce tension, so I welcome all possible contacts between Moscow and Ankara, said the NATO chief after meeting here with Davutoglu.

From Moscow, the Kremlin said that no meeting will be held between the presidents of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the framework of the Summit on Climate Change being held in Paris.

The Turkish government sent a plane to Moscow with the remains of Oleg Peshkov, one of the two pilots of the Su-24 plane who catapulted themselves after being attacked while they carry out combat missions in Syria against terrorists groups, at the request of Damascus.

According to media reports, Peshkov was shot as he was descending in his parachute before landing four kilometers from the Syrian-Turkish border. The other pilot was rescued alive.

Davutoglu insisted at the joint press conference with Stoltenberg that his country acted in self-defense when it downed the plane, the worst incident between Russia and a NATO member.

Turkey considers that the Russian plane violated its borders, although there are contradictions about the reports, according to which the Su-24 bomber was warned ten times, while Russia claims that the aircraft only flew for 17 seconds in Turkish skies.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the alleged violation of Turkey's airspace and noted that Syria's antiaircraft defense systems registered that the plane never flew over Turkish territory.

 

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PL-11/MNA

 

News Code 112449

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