Russia voices concern over Turkey-Syria clashes
ISLAMABAD - Agence France-Presse
Minister of Foreign Affairs for Russia, Sergey Lavrov, addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 28, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew BurtonRussia on Thursday voiced concern at the "deteriorating" situation between Syria and Turkey, where cross-border shelling has heightened tensions.
Turkey resumed fire on Syrian positions on Thursday, reportedly killing several soldiers, in revenge for mortar fire on Wednesday which killed five Turkish civilians.
It was the first time Turkish citizens had been killed by fire from Syria since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began in March 2011.
"As far as the incident between Syria and Turkey goes, it is of great concern for us. The situation is deteriorating with every coming day," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference during a visit to Islamabad.
Turkey has demanded that the UN Security Council take action against Damascus after Wednesday's attack, which has drawn sharp Western condemnation.
Lavrov said Syria had given assurances the incident would not be repeated, and he called for a direct communication channel to be opened between Damascus and Ankara.
Russia, a historic ally of Damascus, opposes any military action against the Assad regime and has accused the West of fuelling the 18-month conflict by allowing arms to flow to the opposition.
It has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions condemning Assad's role in the unrest, with President Vladimir Putin blaming the violence on the West's approach to the conflict.