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Turkey 'not in favor of tension' with Russia, says FM

Turkey 'not in favor of tension' with Russia, says FM

Russian foreign minister to visit Turkey (28 November 2016 18:46)

Date: 14 December 2015 07:07

Hours after the Russian Defense Ministry reported an incident in the northern Aegean Sea, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said his country was “not in favor of tension”, Anadolu agency reported.

On Sunday, Russia claimed one of its ships -- the destroyer Smetlivy -- fired a warning shot to avoid a collision with a Turkish fishing vessel 22 kilometers [14 miles] from Greece’s Lemnos Island.

“We have seen the Russian statement,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Rome, where he had been following an international conference on Libya.

“But we are always saying: ‘We are not in favor of tension’. We are in favor of overcoming tension through dialogue,” Cavusoglu added, claiming that Turkey’s initiatives following “Nov. 24’s sad event” -- the downing of a Russian warplane -- had always been in that direction.

Sunday’s incident comes at a time when tension between Ankara and Moscow remains high following Turkish F16s’ downing of a Russian SU-24 aircraft near the Turkish-Syrian border.

Cavusoglu also confirmed on Sunday he had a brief, informal meeting with Russian Federation Council chair Valentina Matvienko. The pair met on Saturday on the sidelines of an international conference in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

“We met while walking and it was good,” Cavusoglu said, adding that: “We have expressed the wish to overcome the current situation” between the two countries.

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