Erdogan Sends Putin Apology over Downed Plane
The Kremlin has received a letter of apology from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter bomber last year, Russian head of state Vladimir Putin's spokesman has said.
"The Turkish leader has expressed his interest in a normalization of the situation related to the downing of the Russian warplane," TASS news agency quotes Dmitry Peskov as saying.
H?rriyet Daily News quotes Turkish presidential sources as confirming Erdogan sent the apology.
In the letter, Erdogan also extends his condolences to the relatives of the Russian pilot who died in the incident, and a probe has been launched into the action of a Turkish national related to his death, according to Peskov. In addition, the President of Turkey reportedly declares readiness to do everything to restore traditionally friendly relations.
"We have never wanted to intentionally down an aircraft belongint to the Russian Federation," the Russian Presidency's website quotes the letter as saying.
Relations between Moscow and Ankara turned sour after the incident in November, when the Russian-24 was shot down over an alleged violation of Turkish airspace.
Previously, Turkey had repeatedly refused to issue an apology despite insistence from Russia that the step was a preprequisite for any further cooperation.
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