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MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russia and Turkey should establish closer cooperation between the two countries’ military in the future to make sure that airspace violation incidents are not repeated, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said on Thursday.
"The recent events confirm that it is necessary to intensify cooperation between the military of Russia and Turkey to avoid such incidents," he said. "It is necessary to join forces in the fight against terrorism instead of accusing each other."
"The ties between the Russian and Turkish military are being established," he said. "The fight against terrorism, including the Islamic State [terrorist group], is our common goal."
Meshkov recalled that Russia had recently been "accused of attacking the wrong targets in Syria." "However, we have repeatedly said: let’s sit down and look at the maps together," the diplomat said. "Show us where the extremists who should be attacked are located. Give us the targets and instructions. Give us the exact locations of the moderate opposition, which should not be attacked."
"The Islamic State threat can be countered only by joining forces rather than settling old scores with each other," Meshkov added.
Alexey Meshkov on Thursday read out a message of greetings of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to participants in the international conference "Russia-Turkey: Strengthening Multifaceted Partnership." The message said narrowing differences between Moscow and Ankara is only possible through open dialogue.
"The conference is very topical," Lavrov said. "The centuries-long history of Russia and Turkey has had its ups and downs, the periods of heated conflicts and active cooperation. The 95th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations is an opportunity not just to sum up the results of cooperation but also to discuss the prospects for expanding partnership in the new environment."
The message notes that "Moscow and Ankara have different views on certain issues." "Narrowing the approaches is only possible through an open exchange of opinion and substantiated search for common ground," the Russian foreign minister noted.
Lavrov once again offered sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the terrorist attack in Ankara that occurred on October 10. "We are ready for close cooperation with the Turkish authorities in the fight against the terrorist threat," he said. "It is necessary to pool efforts to counter this global evil."
Following Turkey's statements that Moscow allegedly supplies weapons to Kurds in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said that Russia is rendering military support to the governments of Syria and Iraq in the fight against terrorists.
"We are rendering support in the fight against terrorism in the military-technical cooperation sphere to central governments of, in particular, Iraq and Syria," Lavrov said.
"We have said more than once that when it is necessary to support the efforts of Iraqi Kurdistan in the fight against terrorism, we are doing that with consent of the Iraqi government," he said.
Lavrov said then he knew nothing of summoning of the Russian ambassador to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
"It probably happened when we were flying [to Finland]," he said.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes at facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria on September 30. The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. Dozens of terrorist facilities have been hit by Russian aircraft.
On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.
Russia’s Armed Forces act on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.