Australia calls for restraint between Turkey Russia
11/25/2015 6:48:16 PM
(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Australia's foreign minister continued international calls for restraint between Turkey and Russia on Wednesday the day after bothcountries exchangedcombative language following the shooting down ofa Russianjet.
In a statement Julie Bishop underlined the seriousness of the incident andurged there be no military retaliation.
"Clearly there must be an investigation as to what occurred. There are differing versions at present so we need a clear precise analysis of the facts and that can only come through an investigation."
The Russian Sukhoi SU-24 was downed by Turkish F-16 fighter jets Tuesday in line with Turkey’s standard rules of engagement according to the Turkish military.
Ankara added that the Russian plane was repeatedly warned that it was violating Turkish airspace before it was fired upon.
Russian President Vladimir Putinhas insisted howeverthat the plane was outside of Turkey'sairspace when it was brought down.
The incident has raised fears in the international community that the Syrian conflict could spiral into something wider.
"I have spoken with the Department [Australia’s Foreign Ministry]. I have received briefings overnight from our posts overseas but at this point the facts are still unclear and we urge restraint while an investigation is carried out" Bishop added.
She underlined that the situation in both Syria and Iraq -- where Daesh forces targeted by Coalition troops continue to run rampant -- was adding to the complexitiesof the situation.
"Australia as part of the Coalition has an agreement with Russia in relation to the use of air space [while]Russia and the Coalition led by the United States have such an agreement" she said.
"I don’t envisage there being a situation where Australian and Russian planes would find themselves in this situation."
Given that Turkey is part of theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) when asked by a journalist ifAustralia would follow the lead of the U.S. and back them in this situationBishop stated that Australia would be waiting the results of an international probe into the incident.
NATO has 28 member nations and Australia is one of the organisation's 41 "partner”countries;a major non-NATO ally.
"The facts are not yet clear and Australia will of course await a detailed analysis of what occurred" Bishop said.
Late TuesdayPresident Barack Obama asserted Turkey’s right to self-defense following the downing of the jet.
“Turkey like every country has a right to defend its territory and its airspace” Obama said during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.
The Japanese government joined Australia on Wednesday in calling forRussia and Turkey to react calmly to the dispute.
"We would like the countries concerned to respond calmly based on the facts" Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.
"We expect the international community to remain united against terrorism."
By Jill Fraser
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