FM: Turkey, Russia not to allow ambassador shooting to deteriorate ties

FM: Turkey, Russia not to allow ambassador shooting to deteriorate ties
# 20 December 2016 10:33 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey and Russia will not allow the shooting of Russia’s ambassador to Ankara to deteriorate bilateral ties, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

He made the remarks during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow Dec. 20, APA’s Moscow correspondent reported.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was fatally wounded by an armed gunman on Dec. 19 evening as he made a speech during the opening of a photo exhibition devoted to Russia in the Center for Contemporary Art in Turkey’s capital Ankara. The attacker, identified as police officer Mert Altintas, was killed by local security forces shortly after.

Cavusoglu said that he heard the news of the killing of the Russian ambassador when he was flying to Moscow.

“Once again, I condemn this terrorist act. Karlov was a professional in his job. Russia has always sent outstanding diplomats to Ankara”, stressed Cavusoglu.

"I want you to know that Turkey and the Turkish people mourn [Karlov's death], same as Russia and the Russian people are grieving," the FM added.

"Both Russia and Turkey know well that the main purpose of the assailants was to harm Russian-Turkish relations and compromise the progress that we have achieved jointly in recent times," Cavusoglu said.

The top Turkish diplomat urged Moscow and Ankara to "not allow the organizers of this crime to achieve its goal."

“We have to find out who is behind this heinous act of terrorism. We will achieve it together,” said Cavusoglu.

The FM noted that President Erdogan did not hesitate to accept Putin’s offer to send Russian experts to Ankara to investigate the incident.

“Experts from both countries will work together in a transparent manner and reveal the cause and perpetrators of the terrorist act. The ambassador’s name will live in our hearts forever,” added Cavusoglu.

In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov thanked Turkey for an immediate response to the killing of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov.

The top Russian diplomat expressed hope for the soonest completion of investigation into the terrorist act.

“As agreed by the presidents, Russian law enforcement agencies will also join the investigation carried out by the Turkish side,” Lavrov said. “A group of officers have already left Russia for Turkey. The plane will bring back the body of the ambassador and his family to Moscow.”

“Yesterday’s attack makes both Russia and Turkey conduct a decisive fight against terrorism,” he added.