UN secretary general discusses Syria jet shooting with Turkey

The UN said it "still does not have full picture" on Turkey's shooting down of Syrian war plane and urges both sides to avoid further military action.

UN secretary general discusses Syria jet shooting with Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed Turkey's shooting down of a Syrian jet with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu by telephone on Sunday night, a UN official has confirmed.

UN Deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday that the pair had discussed the action taken by Turkish forces earlier in the day after the aircraft violated Turkish airspace.

“The UN is urging both sides to find out the facts and refrain from additional military actions,” Haq told AA.

“While we do not have the full picture, the Secretary-General and his senior advisors are in close contact with both Syrian and Turkish officials to urge both sides to ascertain facts, refrain from additional military actions and de-escalate. Precipitous acts may aggravate the situation, which is not in the interest of any side,” he said.

Haq also announced that Ban “had a detailed discussion on the grave situation in Syria and on prospects for the Geneva talks” with Turkish president Abdullah Gul at The Hague.

Ban and Gul “also discussed incidents over the weekend at the Turkish-Syrian border” according to an official UN statement on the meeting issued from the organisation's headquarters in New York.

The Secretary General called for “restraint by all to avoid the situation escalating further” the statement read.

The UN continues to depend on the role of Turkey in the Syrian peace process, as well as the continuation of Ankara's humanitarian assistance in Syria and nearby countries where refugees have fled.

“The Secretary General expressed his appreciation (to President Gul) for Turkey's strong and continued support for Syrian refugees,” the UN statement said.

Turkey ‘transparent’ in Syria rules of engagement, says U.S. State Department

Turkey has been ‘transparent’ in its rules of engagement, said Marie Harf, U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesperson, after Turkey downed a Syrian Mig-23 fighter jet that Turkish officials say crossed into Turkey’s airspace on Sunday.

“We are committed to Turkey's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We note that the Turkish government has been fully transparent about the rules of engagement it is operating under since the Syrian government shot down a Turkish aircraft in 2012,” said Harf.

“Obviously, the government of Turkey is looking into the incident more, but we are talking to them and will remain in contact with them.”

Replying to a question on Turkey's court order to block Twitter, “There's no place in a democracy for this kind of clamping down on people's right to free speech. There's just not” said Harf.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Mart 2014, 09:16