Turkish President Erdogan Seeks Meeting with Russia’s Putin

Turkish President Erdogan Seeks Meeting with Russia’s Putin
Fri Nov 27, 2015 15:01:21

The Kremlin on Friday confirmed Russian President Vladimir Putin had received Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s request to meet on Nov. 30 in Paris, but declined to say whether the Russian leader would agree.

Mr. Erdogan’s invitation comes days after a Turkish jet fighter shot down a Russian bomber along the Syrian border, killing one of the two aviators on board, and marking the first time a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member downed a Russian warplane since 1952.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr. Erdogan’s request had been submitted to Mr. Putin. “That’s all I can say,” Mr. Peskov told Russian journalists Friday, according to the Interfax news agency.

Both leaders are due to travel to Paris to participate in a United Nations climate change summit.

A meeting between Messrs. Erdogan and Putin is “within the realm of possibility” at the Paris climate-change summit, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing the presidency in Ankara. Currently, there is no scheduled bilateral meeting, the presidency said.

On Thursday, Mr. Putin said Turkey had not yet apologized or offered any compensation for shooting down the Russian warplane, which Russian officials say didn’t violate Turkish airspace.

Mr. Putin has described the Turkish air force’s move as a stab in the back. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the incident a planned provocation by Turkey.

Turkish officials say the Su-24 jet violated Turkey’s airspace and received multiple warnings before being shot down. Mr. Erdogan suggested he wouldn’t apologize, leading to a standoff between the two nations.

In an interview with France 24, Mr. Erdogan said Turkish forces didn’t know the aircraft they were firing upon was Russian, but he defended his country’s right to protect its airspace. The Turkish leader said he didn’t want tensions with Moscow.

“We need to talk about what happened,” Mr. Erdogan said. “But Putin has not returned my call.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced plans on Thursday to develop sanctions against Turkey in response to the incident within two days. Mr. Medvedev said the sanctions on Turkish economic interests would last for an indefinite amount of time until ties between the two countries improve.

The Syrian conflict has pitted Turkey and Russia against one another. Russia has sent its air force to aid the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey, meanwhile, has backed rebel groups fighting Syrian government troops; nasdaq.com reported.


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