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Vietnam urges Russia, Turkey to calm down after Su-24 downing

Friday, November 27, 2015, 14:42 GMT+7

Vietnam has advised Russia and Turkey to hold back confrontation to prevent the situation from escalating after Ankara shot down a Russian warplane this week.

“We call on the two countries to remain calm, and should not engage in any activities that could cause the tension to rise, as well as rectify the situation with peaceful measures in accordance with international law, ensuring global and regional security,” Le Hai Binh, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency as saying at a regular press meeting in Hanoi on Thursday..

Russian warplane Su-24 was shot down by the Turkish air force near the Syrian border on Tuesday, as Turkey said the fighter jet violated its airspace, Reuters reported.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane had been attacked when it was one kilometer from the Turkish border and had come down four kilometers inside Syria, the British news agency added.

The incident was considered a stab in the back delivered to Russia by accomplices of terrorists and President Putin could not qualify what happened that day as anything else, Reuters quoted the Russian head of state as saying.

President Putin added that Russian pilots and planes had in no way threatened Turkey, but had merely been carrying out their duty to fight Islamic State militants inside Syria.

Russia threatened economic revenge against Turkey on Thursday and said it was still awaiting a reasonable explanation for the shooting down of its warplane, according to Reuters.

Many countries and international organizations, including the United States, France, Germany, the United Nations, the European Union and others, have also appealed to both sides to restrain and avoid escalation.

"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," Reuters quoted U.S. President Barack Obama as saying at a joint news conference at the White House on Tuesday.

French President Francois Hollande was also at the conference, saying that escalation had to be prevented as it would be extremely damaging.

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