Negative rhetoric from Russia declining: Turkish foreign minister
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu speaks at a friendship breakfast with Russian residents in Alanya, after the escalation of tensions between Turkey and Russia following the former's downing of a Russian jet on Nov. 24, 2015. DHA PhotoThe negative rhetoric in the war of words between Turkey and Russia is on the decline amid heightened tensions in the wake of Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Dec. 11.
“One should not sow discord among people. They make hate accusations. But there is a decrease in this rhetoric at the moment,” the foreign minister said, while speaking in a televised interview.
Çavuşoğlu cited his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Belgrade on Dec. 3, where his counterpart also expressed Moscow’s willingness to not escalate tension with Ankara.
“We asked to keep dialogue channels open with Russia and Lavrov did not object,” he said.
Russian officials had “sentimental feelings” after the downing of their warplane by Turkey and they had been making accusations against Turkey, Çavuşoğlu said.
“Russia wants to utilize all opportunities against Turkey. But our patience is not endless,” he said, calling on Moscow to reexamine the decision to impose sanctions against Ankara.
No political leader is mediating with Russia on behalf of Turkey, but there are some leaders, such as Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who wanted to help diffuse the tension between Ankara and Moscow, he added.
Jarabulus operation still on agenda
Asked if a planned joint operation between Turkey and the U.S. on Jarabulus in Syria, aimed to clear the region from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, was halted after Turkey shot down the Russian warplane, Çavuşoğlu said the plan was still on the agenda.
“[The] Jarabulus [operation] has not been put aside. Talks continue,” he said.