EU ministers to condemn downing of Turkish jet

Turkey has said the jet mistakenly strayed into Syrian airspace on Friday, but was quickly warned to leave.

Updated: Jun 25, 2012, 21:12 PM IST

Luxembourg: EU foreign ministers on Monday condemned Syria`s downing of a Turkish jet, but said the bloc will not support military action in the troubled country.
"What happened is to be considered very seriously (but) we do not go for any interventions," Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also urged calm.

"I think it is still important that we continue to work on a political solution (to the Syrian crisis)," Westerwelle said as he arrived for a regular meeting of EU ministers.
"De-escalation is crucial at this moment."

Turkey has said the jet mistakenly strayed into Syrian airspace on Friday, but was quickly warned to leave by Turkish authorities and was a mile inside international airspace when it was shot down.

Syria said it was unaware that the F-4 Phantom belonged to Turkey and that it was protecting its air space against an unknown intruder.

Ankara has called a meeting of NATO`s governing body tomorrow to discuss the incident. Any ally can request such consultations if they feel their territorial integrity or security has been threatened.

The North Atlantic Council which includes ambassadors of the 28 NATO countries works by consensus and all members must approve any action.

A NATO official said the Turkish representative will inform his colleagues of what happened. The envoys were expected to discuss Turkey`s concerns but would not decide on anything specific, said the official who could not be named under standing rules.

"This is an episode that illustrates how the Syrian crisis is escalating ... And how important it is to find a resolution to the violence," Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the bloc will add another Syrian official and six firms and government institutions to its sanctions list today. The list already includes over 120 individuals and nearly 50 institutions.

PTI