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German foreign minister afraid of problems in Syria talks after Su-24 downing by Turkey

November 24, 2015, 20:52 UTC+3

"The spark of hope" for international efforts on settlement in Syria "may be lost", the DPA news agency quotes Frank-Walter Steinmeier as saying

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

BERLIN, November 24. /TASS/. The incident with a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber, which was downed by Turkey, may negatively affect talks on the Syrian settlement, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin Tuesday.

"The spark of hope" for international efforts on settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic "may be lost", the DPA news agency quoted Steinmeier as saying.

"I hope prudence and reason will prevail in both capitals [of Turkey and Russia]," he said. "Much will now depend on the reaction of Moscow and Ankara."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with King of Jordan Abdullah II on Tuesday that Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was "a stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

Russian military operation in Syria

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.

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.

Over 2,000 terrorist facilities have been destroyed by Russian aircraft since the start of the air operation. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.

According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

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