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Turkish Foreign Minister: Turkey Expressed Condolences to Russia

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country has expressed condolences to Russia in regards the downing of the Su-24 warplane near Turkish-Syrian border, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

“We have expressed sorrow and condolences in connection with the death of a Russian pilot,” Cavusoglu said after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Serbia's capital Belgrade, Interfax reported.

But the Russian foreign minister maintained that he has “heard nothing new at all” during the meeting requested by Cavusoglu, the report said.

“The Turkish minister confirmed the stance that had been publicly voiced both by the president and the prime minister of Turkey,” Lavrov was cited by Interfax as saying.

Ankara maintains that the Su-24 warplane violated Turkish airspace, and was shot down on Nov. 24 after repeated warnings. Moscow denies the Turkish account — President Vladimir Putin called the downing a “stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists.”

A Russian pilot, Oleg Peshkov, was shot down by militants on the ground in Syria after he bailed out of the plane.

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