Serbian politician’s remark ‘unfortunate’

Serbian politician’s remark ‘unfortunate’

Serbian politician’s remark ‘unfortunate’

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Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic’s claims that Turkey attempted to start a war between NATO and Russia with the Nov. 24 downing of Russian warplane near the Syrian border are “unfortunate,” Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç has said.

“The statement has nothing to do with the truth,” Bilgiç told reporters on Dec. 30 at a press conference. 

Bilgiç said Turkish leaders clearly noted Turkey’s views on the downing of the Russian plane. “Every state has the right to expect respect for its sovereignty,” he added.

“Turkey acts responsibly in international relations since it’s a country in a region in crisis,” Bilgiç said.

Speaking to Russian RIA Novosti news agency, Nikolic said the downing of the Russian warplane was an attempt to bring NATO and Russia into conflict with each other in Syria.

“It was an attempt to involve the two powerful forces in one big military conflict in Syria,” Nikolic said.

He also said Turkish warplanes had violated Greek airspace many times but that Greece did not down them, highlighting that such responses have serious consequences, as Turkey should have known.

Nikolic’s remarks came after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s visit to Serbia on Dec. 29.

His office said Davutoğlu had voiced the country’s desire for the normalization of relations with Moscow during the meeting.