Turkey’s President Erdogan Expresses Regret Over Russian Plane Downing
It was the first expression of regret by the Turkish President since Tuesday’s incident in which Turkish F-16 jets shot down the Russian jet on grounds that it had violated Turkey’s airspace despite repeated warnings to change course. It was the first time in half a century that a NATO member shot down a Russian plane and drew a harsh response from Moscow.
“We are truly saddened by this incident,” Erdoğan said. “We wish it hadn’t happened as such, but unfortunately such a thing has happened. I hope that something like this doesn’t occur again.”
Addressing supporters in the western city of Balikesir, Erdoğan said neither country should allow the incident to escalate and take a destructive form that would lead to “saddening consequences.”
He renewed a call for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a climate conference in Paris next week, saying it would be an opportunity to overcome tensions.