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Turkey calls to set up working group with Russia on searching for ways to normalize ties

May 30, 2016, 11:35 UTC+3 ANKARA

The country's foreign minister says Turkey seeks normalization, the working group may become official or non-official, as the Russian side wishes to

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

© AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

ANKARA, May 30. /TASS/. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has proposed to establish a joint working group with Russia to look for ways of normalizing bilateral relations, the Istanbul-based Turkiye newspaper reported on Monday.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wants to restore ties and expects us to take steps. We also seek normalization. We suggest creating a joint working group so that these steps are taken," Cavusoglu told reporters in Antalya.

The minister said the working group "may become official or non-official, as the Russian side wishes to."

"Let its members discuss the current issues between each other and search for a solution. As a result, we will be able to find a common way towards normalization. This is not an issue that cannot be solved," Cavusoglu said.

On May 27, Putin said in Athens that Moscow expects particular steps of Ankara amid the incident with the Russian Su-24M bomber shot down by Turkey in late November. Putin said Moscow hears Ankara’s statements that it wants to resume relations with Russia. "We also want to resume relations," he said. "It was not us to break them." He said Russia had valued much its former relations with Turkey. "I still cannot understand why it was done [the attack on the Russian plane and a subsequent chill in relations]," he added.

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