Putin, Er­do­gan in first con­tact since plane cri­sis

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

ANKARA—Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan sent a let­ter to his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Vladimir Putin mark­ing Rus­sia’s na­tional day, in their first con­tact since Ankara downed a Rus­sian war­plane in Novem­ber, an of­fi­cial said Tues­day.

“We con­firm me­dia re­ports the pres­i­dent sent a let­ter to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin on the oc­ca­sion of the Rus­sian na­tional day,” the of­fi­cial said, re­fer­ring to the Day of Rus­sia marked on June 12.

“I hope our re­la­tions will reach a level they de­serve,” Er­do­gan told Putin in the let­ter, ac­cord­ing to the pri­vate NTV tele­vi­sion chan­nel. In Moscow, Krem­lin spokesman Dmitry Peskov con­firmed that Er­do­gan had sent Putin the mes­sage, say­ing it was re­ceived “via diplo­matic chan­nels”, the Ria-Novosti news agency re­ported.

Turkey’s down­ing of the Rus­sian jet on its bor­der with Syria in Novem­ber sparked an un­prece­dented cri­sis in the two na­tions’ re­la­tion­ship, which was ex­ac­er­bated by Moscow’s role in the Syr­ian war.

Turkey says the Rus­sian plane strayed into its airspace and ig­nored re­peated warn­ings, but Rus­sia in­sisted it did not cross the bor­der and ac­cused Ankara of a “planned provo­ca­tion.” Er­do­gan wanted to meet with Putin for face-to-face talks on the side­lines of a cli­mate sum­mit in Paris af­ter the plane cri­sis, which was re­buffed by the Rus­sian leader. Turk­ish me­dia re­ported that Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim also sent a let­ter to his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Dmitry Medvedev on the oc­ca­sion of the Rus­sian na­tional day.—AFP

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