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OSCE conf giving Russia, Turkey chance to straighten out relations — Serbia's President

November 28, 2015, 3:03 UTC+3 BELGRADE
Tomislav Nikolic believes that the first step should be made by Ankara, because the incident occurred through its fault
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Serbia's president Tomislav Nikolic

Serbia's president Tomislav Nikolic

© Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

BELGRADE, November 27. /TASS/. A conference of the Foreign Ministers Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) gives Russia and Turkey a chance to straighten out their relations after the incident where the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian bomber jet, Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic said on Friday.

He believes that the first step should be made by Ankara, because the incident occurred through its fault. The downing of the warplane should not have happened, Nikolic said.

"I hope sincerely this story will end up with Turkey's condemnation and the recognition that it has done something it didn't have the right to do," Tanyug news agency quoted him. "I do hope Turkey and Russia, the two countries having exceptional economic relations and I'd say exceptional political relations, will find a way to keep them on."

No one should expect that Russia will offer reconciliation to a party, which caused a conflict and does not send any signals of repentance or guarantees against a replay of the incident in the future, Nikolic said.

He recalled the situation several years ago where the Syrian forces brought down a Turkish warplane, adding that Ankara said then a diplomatic solution could have been found to the situation and just a telephone call would have been sufficient for finding it, although the Turkish jet stayed in the Syrian airspace for more than ten minutes.

The TASS database contains 716 reports on serious violations of international borders by Turkish Air Force jets over the past eighteen years. On some occasions, whole squadrons of Turkish jets encroached intruded in the airspace of Greece, the Republic of Cyprus, Iran, and Syria.

On one occasion, in 2012, a Turkish fighter jet was brought down over Syria. Ankara admitted violation of the border in that case but it insisted that the intrusion had been a brief one and had resulted from an error.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a reminder on Wednesday the incumbent Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was Prime Minister then, said in that situation a brief violation of the border could be a pretext for the use of force.

An F-16 fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force shot down the Russian Sukhoi-24M bomber that, according to Ankara's claims, had intruded into the Syrian airspace in the border area.

The Russian Defence Ministry, the Russian bomber was in the Syrian airspace at the time of the incident and there had been no violation of Turkish airspace.

President Vladimir Putin warned that the Turkish attack on the Russian jet, which had been engaged in the antiterrorist operation in Syria and had not posed any threat to Turkey, was a stab in the back.

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