UN says it still does not have full picture on Turkey's shooting down of Syrian war plane and urges both sides to avoid further military action
UNITED NATIONS – Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed Turkey's shooting down of a Syrian jet with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu by telephone on Sunday night, a UN official has confirmed.
UN Deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday that the pair had discussed the action taken by Turkish forces earlier in the day after the aircraft violated Turkish airspace.
“The UN is urging both sides to find out the facts and refrain from additional military actions,” Haq told AA.
“While we do not have the full picture, the Secretary-General and his senior advisors are in close contact with both Syrian and Turkish officials to urge both sides to ascertain facts, refrain from additional military actions and de-escalate. Precipitous acts may aggravate the situation, which is not in the interest of any side,” he said.
Haq also announced that Ban “had a detailed discussion on the grave situation in Syria and on prospects for the Geneva talks” with Turkish president Abdullah Gul at The Hague.
Ban and Gul “also discussed incidents over the weekend at the Turkish-Syrian border” according to an official UN statement on the meeting issued from the organisation's headquarters in New York.
The Secretary General called for “restraint by all to avoid the situation escalating further” the statement read.
The UN continues to depend on the role of Turkey in the Syrian peace process, as well as the continuation of Ankara's humanitarian assistance in Syria and nearby countries where refugees have fled.
“The Secretary General expressed his appreciation (to President Gul) for Turkey's strong and continued support for Syrian refugees,” the UN statement said.
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