Turkish FM says 'does not favour any tension with Russia'

Turkish foreign minister says Turkey does not favour tension with Russia following downing of Russian airplane

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke during a press conference at the end of his meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 27, 2015

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that they do not favour any tension with Russia, adding that diplomacy can resolve divisions between two countries.

"We do not favour any tension. We believe we can tackle the issue via diplomatic ways,” said Cavusoglu during his speech in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Turkish minister was speaking during a meeting with Azerbaijan's parliament speaker, Oktay Esedov, within the scope of an official trip to the country.

The tension between Turkey and Russia came after two Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian warplane on Nov. 24 after warning it several times about violating Turkish airspace.

Emphasising Turkey exercised its rights under international law, Cavusoglu said, "[It was] a plane with unidentified nationality that breached our borders. It did not respond to the warnings. There was no sign that it was a Russian plane.”

"We expect prudential remarks and actions. I also spoke to [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov on the phone and we agreed to meet in Belgrade on Dec. 3-4. I believe the tension will ease in the next days," Cavusoglu continued.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu’s Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday said that Russia decided to suspend visa-free regime with Turkey, starting from January 1, 2016.

Tension between Ankara and Moscow

Diplomatic tension between Ankara and Moscow has been continuing since Tuesday as leaders of the two countries - Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin - made strong criticisms about each other.

President Erdogan rejected calls from Russia to apologise and added that Turkey does not need to say sorry for opposing violations of its airspace.

He also stressed that when the jet was shot down, it had not been identified as belonging to the Russian Federation.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) released radar footage of the incident supporting its claim that Russia violated Turkey's airspace.

TAF also released audio recordings of warnings that were given to the Russian pilot before the jet was shot down.

Erdogan said that the plane “ignored repeated warnings for over five minutes” to leave Turkish airspace and had failed to identify itself.

However, the Russian President insisted the plane was easily identifiable and the jet’s flight coordinates had been passed on to Turkey’s ally, the United States.

Putin also described the incident as a “stab in the back” and warned Turkey of "serious consequences."

TRTWorld, AA