US stresses support for Turkey’s right to defend itself

US president stresses his country’s support for Turkey’s right to defend itself, urged both Russian, Turkish sides to de-escalate

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama holds a news conference at the conclusion of his visit to Paris December 1, 2015

Updated Dec 2, 2015

US President Barack Obama repeated the expression of his support for the Turkish authorities on Tuesday and said he backs Turkey's right to defend itself following the downing of a Russian warplane that violated Turkish airspace and did not comply with multiple warnings on November 24.

"The United States supports Turkey's right to defend itself and its airspace," Obama said.

"We discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions and find a diplomatic path to resolve the issue," he added.

Obama was speaking after a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Paris, where he has been attending the climate summit. At the same time, Obama urged both parties in the row to reduce tension and work on immediate de-escalation.

The US President also said DAESH is a common enemy that all major world powers should be battling.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on Russia to facilitate opening communication channels between the two countries in order to prevent further incidents of the sort of ever happening again.

In spite of the Turkish efforts to reach out and end the row, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree imposing economic sanctions on Turkey over the incident, saying Turkey shot down the jet because it wanted to protect supplies of oil from DAESH terrorists.

US President Barack Obama meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the US ambassador's residence during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris, France December 1, 2015

This is an accusation that has been completely dismissed and been described as completely baseless by the Turkish authorities, and this is considered "slander" as president Erdogan described it.

"Our concern is to not come out badly from this, but on the contrary to turn this into peace and contribute to the peace in the region," Erdogan said.

Russia has been a key ally to the Syrian regime president Bashar al Assad all throughout the conflict that started in March 2011, and killed over 250,000 people, most of whom were killed by the Assad regime.

And on September 30, Russia started its airstrikes in Syria, with the initial announced goal of battling DAESH insurgency, however in time, Russian targets were mostly civilian areas where Syrian opposition forces are stationed, thus boosting DAESH’s authorities in the already troubled region, given that Syrian opposition forces often battle DAESH, not only Assad’s regime.


TRTWorld and agencies