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TOKYO, November 26. /TASS/. Russia is playing an important role in the settlement of the Syrian conflict and in the effort against the terrorist group Islamic State, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who is currently on an official visit to Japan, told the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei.
He said the Islamic State could not be defeated if countries did not pool their efforts. In this context he stressed the importance of Russia’s role as it was expanding the scale of its operation in Syria. AT the same time, he expressed discontent with the actions of countries which did not make their contribution to the joint anti-terrorist efforts, obviously hinting to Turkey.
Touching on the incident with the Russian warplane that was downed by a Turkish fighter jet, the Egyptian foreign minister called on the two countries "to contain tensions" and "find a reasonable and just solution."
"It is a dangerous situation, which only highlights the need for coordination in the fight against terrorism," Nikkei quoted him as saying. "The region is full of problems already, we do not need to escalate problems."
At the same time, he said the international community should think about who was buying oil from terrorists and was letting them dross state borders.
The Russian Su-24M all-weather bomber (NATO reporting name: Fencer) was on anti-terrorism mission in Syria on Tuesday morning, when it was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet. Ankara claims it downed the Russian warplane after it had violated Turkey’s airspace, while the Russian Defense Ministry says the bomber was in the airspace over Syria at the time of the attack.
Both pilots of the downed warplane ejected safely after they were hit by an air-to-air missile, but the commander was killed in a militants’ gunfire from the ground as he was parachuting.
Russia’s two Mi-8 helicopters (NATO reporting name: Hip) were engaged in the pilots’ search and rescue operation, which reportedly lasted for some 12 hours.
One of the helicopters dispatched for the rescue mission came under fire and was subsequently forced to an emergency landing after sustaining damages.
One Russian contract serviceman, a marine, was killed during the emergency landing. The rest of the servicemen on board of the helicopter were safely evacuated. The downed Mi-8 helicopter was lately destroyed by mortar fire from the territory under control of the militants.