Turkey urges talks with Russia

Ankara, December 5

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today called for dialogue with Russia to overcome tensions after the downing of a Russian war plane near the Syrian border for alleged violations of Turkey’s airspace.

“Of course we have different views but we need to continue to talk in order to narrow our differences,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the state-run Anatolia news agency. Cavusoglu was speaking at a breakfast given for Russian citizens living in his hometown of Antalya, a popular tourist destination for Russian tourists on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

The downing of the Russian war plane on the Turkish-Syria border on November 24 has strained ties between Ankara and Moscow which have traded accusations in recent days. Cavusoglu met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Belgrade on Thursday in the first high-level contact between the two sides since the disputed plane incident. “I had a very useful meeting with my friend Sergei Lavrov,” Cavusoglu said today. “We discussed all issues in a positive atmosphere.”

The foreign minister warned against “inaccurate” statements or news disseminating in Russia. “One day problems will be resolved but the seeds of discord you had sown among people could continue for a long time. Therefore, everyone should act responsibly,” Cavusoglu said.

‘We will find other energy suppliers’

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said while Russia was a major supplier of oil and gas to Turkey it was not the only one, as tensions escalated with Moscow over the downing of a Russian warplane.  “It is possible to find different suppliers,” Erdogan said in a televised speech, referring to Qatar and Azerbaijan.