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Turkish president says wishes plane downing had not happened


Turkey’s president has told supporters that he was saddened by the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish forces.

Addressing supporters today, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again defended Turkey’s action and criticised Russia for its action in Syria before expressing his regrets.

Erdogan said: “We wish it hadn’t happened, but it happened. I hope something like this doesn’t happen again.”

He says both sides should approach the issue in a more positive way. He says a meeting in Paris would be an opportunity to overcome tensions, and he renewed a call for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the sidelines of a Climate conference in Paris next week.

Earlier, Turkey issued a travel warning urging its nationals to delay non-urgent and unnecessary travel to Russia.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry today said it was issuing the warning because Turkish travellers were facing “problems” in Russia.

It said Turks should delay travel plans until “the situation becomes clear.”

Turkey’s downing of the Russian military jet Tuesday, the first time in half a century that a NATO member shot down a Russian plane, has drawn a harsh response from Moscow.

Russia has since restricted tourist travel, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border, confiscated large quantities of Turkish food imports and started preparing a raft of broader economic sanctions.

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