World supports Turkey, Russia escalates tension despite all efforts

FATIH ŞEMSETTIN IŞIK @semssami
ISTANBUL
Published 26.11.2015 23:00

Although Russia seeks to further escalate tensions with Turkey after a Russian war plane was downed Tuesday by the military, several politicians and officials from the international community continue to applaud Ankara's decision to defend its airspace.

Moscow, however, has been a vociferous critic of Turkey since Tuesday's incident. But considering the support Ankara received from a number of world leaders, it is a question of when and not if the crisis will subside.

General Philip Breedlove, the NATO Commander for Europe, stated that NATO is very serious about the sovereignty of airspace of all member States. Speaking about the events of the past few days, the General expressed the view that the necessary de-escalation and a diplomatic solution to the issues that are important for Moscow and Ankara. "We don't want escalation, and de-escalate the situation. It is therefore time to discuss it. I don't think that Russia wants a conflict with NATO or Turkey. And I can confidently say that Turkey and NATO don't want any conflict with Russia," the General said.U.S. President Barack Obama backed Turkey's decision to shoot down the plane on Tuesday, saying that Turkey has the right to protect its borders during a joint press conference at the White House with French President François Hollande.

"It's very important right now for us to make sure that both the Russians and the Turks are talking to each other to find out exactly what happened and take measures to discourage any kind of escalation," Obama added.

Moreover, U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has also expressed support for Turkey's decision and said on CNN on Wednesday: "If we are serious about that, Turkey needs to be an ally and we need to show support. I think President Obama was correct to say that every country has a right to self-defense."

Also, British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament members that the U.K. should "respect Turkey's right to protect its airspace just as we defend our own."

Following the extraordinary meeting after the incident, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) underscored that it supports the territorial integrity of Turkey while confirming the information provided by Turkey. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on the matter: "As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO ally, Turkey."

On Wednesday, French President Hollande expressed support for Turkey's right to defend its soil during a phone conversation with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan while also underlining that there was "no need to increase the tension" in the region.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also called for the de-escalation of tensions between Turkey and Russia and said "of course, every country has a right to protect its territory."

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