World / Europe

Turkish PM seeks unity against IS

By Agencies in London; Moscow; Beijing; and Ankara, Turkey (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-28 08:17

Russia, France agree on more cooperation

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sought to ease tensions with Moscow on Friday over Tuesday's downing of a Russian warplane on the Syrian border, calling for unity against the Islamic State group.

Meanwhile, Turkish media reported that Turkey has "temporarily" suspended airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande agreed to step up cooperation in fight against terrorism while promising that the incident like the downing of the Russian fighter jet should never happen again.

While describing the talks with visiting Hollande as "constructive," Putin said at the joint news briefing that the two sides decided to share military intelligence on combating Islamic State in Syria, which is a step toward forming an international anti-terror coalition.

Davutoglu, writing in Friday's edition of The Times in London, said, "While the measures to defend our territory will remain in place, Turkey will work with Russia and our allies to calm tensions.

"The downing of an unidentified jet in Turkish airspace was not - and is not - an act against a specific country," he said.

Davutoglu emphasized that the international community should unite against a "common enemy".

"The international community must not turn on itself. Otherwise the only victors will be Daesh ... and the Syrian regime," he said, using an Arabic term for the IS group.

Turkish F-16 jets on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane that Ankara said had breached its airspace. Russia vowed on Thursday to carry out broad retaliatory measures against Turkey's economy.

Turkey, a member of a US-led coalition fighting IS, has since halted air raids against the group in Syria in order to avoid any further crises, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Also on Friday, China's Foreign Ministry called for calm, urging the international community to coordinate in the fight against terror to avoid such incidents in the future.

"The relevant parties should increase communication to avoid further escalating the situation. The international community should earnestly strengthen coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism to avoid this kind of incident from happening again," the ministry said on a brief statement on its website.

AFP - Xinhua - Reuters

(China Daily 11/28/2015 page9)

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