Su-24 Incident Should Not Spoil Turkey-Russia Relations - Erdogan
Relations between Russia and Turkey should not suffer because of the incident involving the Russian Su-24, downed by a Turkish jet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
ANKARA (Sputnik) – Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after a Turkish jet brought down a Russian Su-24 aircraft over Syria in November. Turkey claimed that it downed the Russian aircraft because it had violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Russian bomber never crossed into Turkish airspace.
'The error was made by [the Russian] pilots who…did not hear [our] warnings. The incident, which took place due to pilot error, should not have any impact on bilateral relations, especially strategic ones,' Erdogan told journalists, as quoted by the Haberturk channel.
The Turkish president said that Ankara was seeking to continue its cooperation with Moscow, which has proved to be successful over the past 10-11 years.
According to Erdogan, the presidents of Turkmenistan and Georgia, along with the Pakistani prime minister and the Iranian first vice president had expressed to him in person their concern regarding the crisis in relations between Turkey and Russia.
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