Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
Photo source: Wikipedia Commons
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on April 24th, 2022, that during a visit there in March he asked Russian Federation to stop using the airspace, and that Moscow agreed to the Turkish request. Cavusoglu told to a group of Turkish journalists during a visit to Uruguay that Russia had permission to use the Turkish airspace for flights to Syria until April. It was not clear if the move aimed to prevent the possible transfer of Syrian fighters to Ukraine.
The announcement marks one of the strongest responses to date by Turkey, which has cultivated close ties with Moscow despite being a member of the NATO, to Russia’s military assault on Ukraine.
“We closed the airspace to Russia’s military planes — and even civilian ones — flying to Syria. They had until April, and we asked in March,” Cavusoglu said to Turkish media.
There was no immediate response from Russia to Turkey’s announcement, which together with Iran has been a crucial supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the war in the country. During the conflict Turkey has backed Syrian rebels.
Turkey has been trying to mediate an end of the conflict hosting meetings between the parts from Ukraine and Russia that were present in Istanbul for negotiations.
Cavusoglu said if progress is made in negotiations, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had agreed that a meeting could be held in Turkey.
“If they want a deal, it’s inevitable” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying. “It might not happen for a long time, but it can happen suddenly”.
This article was edited using the data from the Economictimes.indiatimes.com, English.alarabiya.net, Timesofisrael.com, Trtworld.com, and Aljazeera.com