Turkey calls for dialogue with Russia to narrow differences

AFP , Saturday 5 Dec 2015

Mevlut Cavusoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (AP Photo)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday called for dialogue with Russia to overcome tensions after the downing of a Russian warplane 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 warplane 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 on Saturday. "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.

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