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Turkey to impartially react to incident with downed jet - FM

June 24, 2012, 14:28 UTC+3

Ankara will not take risky steps, but will demonstrate its most resolute position, the foreign minister said

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ANKARA, June 24 (Itar-Tass) — Turkey will impartially react to the incident in which its military plane was brought down by Syria’s air defense forces in international airspace, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday.

Ankara will not take risky steps, but will demonstrate its most resolute position, the foreign minister said.

“I have held talks with the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Great Britain, France and other countries. They all acknowledge the legitimacy of Turkey’s claims. This incident will by no means go unanswered,” the foreign minister said, adding that he expected concretization of Turkey’s stance after contacts and consultations of the prime minister with government ministers and the president, which will continue on Monday.

On Tuesday Turkey intends to refer to NATO the incident with a Turkish fighter jet invoking Article 4 of the Alliance’s charter, which envisages consultations among the member countries when the security of any parties is involved.

He stressed that seeing a test and training flight of a plane flying alone and without arms as a threat is an evil intent. The minister stressed that the Turkish plane had been brought down over international waters and not in Syrian airspace.

After being damaged, the plane fell into Syrian territorial waters. According to information available at the moment, the plane crashed not because of some technical malfunctioning, but because it had been hit by a missile, Davutoglu said.

The top diplomat also noted that some disinformation comes from the Syrian side on that incident. The foreign minister also stressed that the fighter jet had been shot without a warning signal. According to him, the F4 Phantom fighter jet with no arms on board was flying alone. The aim of the flight was to test the national radar system and had nothing to do with the crisis in Syria.

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