|Iran urges Ankara, Damascus to show restraint over downing of Turkish plane||
TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi urged Turkey and Syria late on Saturday to restrain their reactions to Syria’s downing of a Turkish warplane over the Mediterranean.
In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Ahmed Davutoglu, Salehi expressed hope that Turkey and Syria would “settle the issue peacefully to help maintain regional stability.”
Syria has said the Turkish aircraft was flying low and well inside Syrian territorial waters when it was shot down on Friday.
Search teams have located the wreckage of the fighter jet in Syrian waters at a depth of 1,300 meters, Turkish news channels reported on Sunday, without citing a source.
Turkey said search and rescue teams were still searching for the two missing pilots.
On Saturday, officials from neighboring countries mounted a joint rescue operation for the pilots in the eastern Mediterranean, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Turkey on Sunday accused Syria of shooting its jet over international waters without warning and declared that it would formally consult with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies on how to respond.
Foreign Minister Davutoglu told state television that Ankara would react "decisively" and rejected Damascus' statement that it hadn't known the plane had belonged to Turkey.
"Our perspective is that of peace…but nobody can throw Turkey's international security into risk or test Turkey's capacity," Davutoglu said, adding that while Turkey's response will be "in line with international law," it would be "decisive".
Relations between Turkey and Syria started to deteriorate last year when Turkey sided with the opposition against the government of President Beshar al-Assad. Turkey now hosts Syria's opposition group – the Syrian National Council – in Istanbul, and the leadership of the rebel Free Syrian Army in the southern province of Hatay.
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|Last Updated on 24 June 2012 17:22|