Turkey 'sorry for downing Russian jet'

    Turkey 'sorry for downing Russian jet'

    June 27, Ankara: President of Turkey has apologised for the downing of a Russian military jet on the Turkey-Syria border, a Kremlin spokesman said.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin expressing "sympathy and deep condolences" to the family of the killed pilot.

    The spokesman said that Turkey had angered Moscow by failing to apologise for the incident in November.

    Russia responded by imposing trade sanctions and suspending Russian package tours to Turkey. Putin said at the time the restrictions would not be lifted until Russia received an apology.

    Erdogan spoke of his deep regret for what happened and said he wanted to restore relations, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

    Peskov said: "The letter states, in particular, that Russia is a friend to Turkey and a strategic partner, with which the Turkish authorities would not wish to spoil relations."

    Turkey has not yet commented on the Kremlin's statement.

    The Russian Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area on 24 November. The plane
    crashed in the mountainous Jabal Turkmen area of the Syrian province of Latakia, killing the pilot.

    The navigator in the jet, Capt Konstantin Murakhtin, survived the crash and was taken to Russia's Hmeimim airbase in Latakia by Syrian government forces.

    A Russian involved in a helicopter rescue attempt was also killed when the helicopter came under fire, reports said.

    The Oslo Times International News Network


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