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U.S. denounces Syrian downing of Turkish fighter jet

Other News Materials 25 June 2012 01:33 (UTC +04:00)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday denounced what she called the "brazen and unacceptable" downing of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria forces, vowing continuing work with Turkey for a "democratic transition" in Syria, DPA reported.
U.S. denounces Syrian downing of Turkish fighter jet

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday denounced what she called the "brazen and unacceptable" downing of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria forces, vowing continuing work with Turkey for a "democratic transition" in Syria, Xinhua reported.

"The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms," the top U.S. diplomat said in a written statement.

"It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security," she said.

The two neighbors, whose relations are at an all-time low since the unrest started in Syria in mid-March 2011, made conflicting statements about the circumstances surrounding the shooting down of the Turkish F-4 jet. Syria said the fighter was shot down on Friday after penetrating the Syrian airspace, while Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu said on Sunday that the jet was in international airspace at the time.

As a member of NATO, Turkey has called for a meeting of the alliance' envoys to discuss the incident.

Clinton said she spoke with Davutoglu on Saturday to express " grave concern" about the downing. "The foreign minister briefed me on the specifics of the incident, including that the Syrian military shot its plane down without warning," she noted.

"We will maintain close contact with Turkish officials as they continue to investigate the incident and determine Turkey's response, including in the (UN) Security Council," she said. "We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable."

Calling Turkey "a leader" in the efforts to address the violence in Syrian, Clinton stated that "We will continue our close cooperation with Turkey as part of our broader efforts to promote a democratic transition in Syria."

"This work is urgent, and we will be consulting in New York with the Security Council, in Brussels with NATO and the EU, and in Geneva with special envoy Kofi Annan on next steps," she added.

Russia and China have called for a negotiated end to the violence and bloodshed in Syria, voicing opposition to any outside interference. Washington and its allies, meanwhile, are pushing for a political transition with the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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