Turkey, Russia foreign ministers meet for first talks after plane crisis

Foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia met in Belgrade on Thursday in the first high-level bilateral talks since the downing of a Russian warplane.

AFP| Updated: Dec 03, 2015, 22:31 PM IST

Belgrade: The foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia met in Belgrade on Thursday in the first high-level bilateral talks since the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets sparked an unprecedented crisis. 

"The meeting between the two foreign ministers has begun as scheduled," a Turkish foreign ministry official told AFP, without giving further details.

The start of the meeting between Russia`s Sergei Lavrov and Turkey`s Mevlut Cavusoglu, on the sidelines of the ministerial council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was also confirmed by a diplomatic source in Belgrade.

Two Turkish F-16 jets shot down a Russian plane on November 24 which Ankara said violated its airspace. Russia insists that the plane did not cross from Syria and accused Turkey of a deliberate provocation. 

The plane incident has plunged the two countries` relationship into a crisis, with Russia demanding an official apology from the Turkish leadership. 

Lavrov cancelled a scheduled meeting to Istanbul on November 25 and urged Russian citizens to avoid any travel to Turkey, a top tourist destination for many Russian tourists.

Russian President Vladimir Putin snubbed an offer from Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the climate summit in Paris early this week.