World Bulletin / News Desk
The foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia met in Belgrade on Thursday in the first high-level bilateral talks since the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets sparked an unprecedented crisis.
"The meeting between the two foreign ministers lasted for 40 minutes," a Turkish foreign ministry official reported.
The meeting between Russia's Sergei Lavrov and Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu, on the sidelines of the ministerial council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was also confirmed by a diplomatic source in Belgrade.
Two Turkish F-16 jets shot down a Russian plane on November 24 which Ankara said violated its airspace. Russia insists that the plane did not cross from Syria and accused Turkey of a deliberate provocation.
The plane incident has plunged the two countries' relationship into a crisis, with Russia demanding an official apology from the Turkish leadership.
Cavusoglu also expressed Ankara's condolences to Russia for the death of a Russian pilot when one of its warplanes was shot down by Turkey on the Syrian border last week.
"We expressed our sadness and expressed our condolences for the Russian pilot who lost his life," Turkish media quoted Cavusoglu as saying after meeting Lavrov.
Cavusoglu praised the mood of the talks but gave no indication of a breakthrough on ending the crisis.
"It's important to keep the channels of dialogue open," he said.
"On both sides there is a desire not to escalate the tensions. I am sure that common sense will win over emotion."
But he added: "It would not be realistic to say that the problems have been overcome in a first meeting."
Russia has in the last days also accused Ankara of importing oil from ISIL in Syria, allegations that Turkey fiercely denies.
"We gave our response to the claims that have been raised," Cavusoglu said after the talks. "Our hope is that they will give up their baseless claims."
In comments broadcast on Russian television,Lavrov also confirmed that there had been no breakthrough.
"We met with Mr Cavusoglu... We did not hear anything new. The Turkish minister confirmed the positions which they have already voiced. We confirmed our views," Lavrov said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2015, 09:55