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Turkey closes airspace to Russian planes flying to Syria: FM | News


Cavusoglu transferred the ban, which will be in effect for three months, to Moscow, according to local media.

Local media quoted Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying that Turkey had closed its airspace to Russian civilian and military planes flying to Syria.

“We have closed our airspace to Russian military aircraft – and even civilian aircraft – flying to Syria. They have until April, and we asked for March”, Turkish media quoted Cavusoglu as saying on Saturday.

Cavusoglu said he passed the decision on to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who then passed it on to President Vladimir Putin.

“A day or two later, they said: Putin ordered, we won’t fly anymore,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying to Turkish reporters on his plane to Uruguay.

Cavusoglu added that the ban will be in effect for three months.

There was no immediate response to Turkey’s announcement from Russia, which, along with Iran, is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s war.

Turkey has backed Syrian rebels in the conflict.

Ankara’s relationship with Moscow broke down shortly after Turkey shoot down A Russian fighter jet near the Turkish-Syrian border in 2015.

However, they improved until Russia invaded Ukraine, which Turkey considers an important trading partner and diplomatic ally.

Turkey tried reconciliation to end the conflictheld meetings between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul, and another between Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Antalya.

Ankara is currently trying to arrange a summit in Istanbul between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, although Cavusoglu admits that the prospects of such negotiations at this point remain dim.

“If they want a deal, it’s inevitable,” Cavusoglu is quoted as saying. “It may not happen for a long time, but it can happen suddenly.”



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