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ANKARA, October 11 (Itar-Tass) — Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he believes that the incident related to the jet, which was en route to Damascus from Moscow, could not have a serious impact on relations between the two countries.
“We are resolutely ready to control weapons supplies to the regime, which kills the civilian population. We come against using our airspace for such purpose,” Davutoglu told local television on Thursday.
He stressed that Turkey considered Syria’s airspace not safe and banned it to use it by all local civilian air carriers. At the same time, the minister said Turkey’s airspace remained open for Syrian civilian aviation.
He also pledged that Turkey would prevent any weapons supplies to the Syrian administration by its airspace.
The Turkish foreign minister pointed out that special services had gotten information under which non-civilian cargoes were aboard the Syrian jet en route to Damascus from Moscow. He expressed confidence that in compliance with all international laws the authorities had the right to aircraft inspection.
For its part, Russia demanded Turkey explain reasons for detaining a Syrian jet aboard of which 17 Russian citizens could be aboard, a Russian diplomat told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
According to earlier reports, the Syrian Airlines jet was en route from Moscow when the Turkish authorities decided to force it to land on the suspicions that it might be carrying some weaponry aboard.
“The Russian Embassy in Ankara immediately contacted with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and demanded it explain the circumstances of the incident. The embassy also asked for the access to Russian citizens who could be aboard the Syrian jet, which made a regular flight to Damascus from Moscow. According to preliminary information due to be checked, 17 Russian citizens, including children, are aboard the jet. Russian consuls left for the airport to meet Russians, ensure their safety and protect their rights and freedoms,” the diplomat said.