ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on Tuesday for the opening of communication channels between Turkey and Russia to prevent incidents like the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets along the Syrian border last week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan did not meet at Monday’s summit in Paris which Erdogan had described as an opportunity to mend shattered ties between the two countries.
“Our call to Russia again is to open military communication channels to prevent similar incidents happening. Let’s keep diplomatic channels open,” Davutoglu told a news conference before departing on an official visit to northern Cyprus.
“We must sit down and talk at the table instead of making unfounded allegations,” he added.
Putin, who has signed a decree imposing economic sanctions on Turkey over the incident, said on Monday Turkey shot down the Russian jet because it wanted to protect supplies of oil from Islamic State militants. Erdogan has called claims that Turkey buys oil from Islamic State “slander”.
Davutoglu said Turkey will continue in its efforts to expel Islamic State militants from the area on the Syrian side of the border between the two countries.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan and Catherine Evans