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Obama expresses regret over Russian plane downing incident at meeting with Putin
US President Barack Obama has expressed regret over the Sukhoi Su-24 bomber incident at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
"Obama expressed regret in cinnection with the incident involving the Russian jet downed by the Turkish Air Force in Syria," Peskov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama held a meeting on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference that lasted for around 30 minutes.
The meeting, which was held behind the closed doors, had not been planned or discussed beforehand. The presidents used the opportunity of attending the international conference to speak about topical issues in the bilateral format. The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria and Ukaine.
"Syria was discussed in detail, too, and both presidents spoke in favor of moves towards the start of political settlement," Peskov said. "They also spoke about Ukraine and pointed out the importance of an earliest possible implementation of the Minsk accords."
Last time, the two leaders met at the G20 summit in Turkey's Antalya two weeks ago where they had two meetings and one of them lasted for around 20 minutes.
Earlier, the Russian and US presidents had long talks in New York in late September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's anniversary session.
Russia-Turkey tensions over downed Russian plane
Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a low after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country's airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey's airspace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey's attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations. Putin said Ankara's attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia's antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia's back" delivered by terrorists' accomplices.
On Sunday, Putin signed a decree on a provisional ban on employing Turkish citizens in Russia as of January 1, 2016. The same decree suspends visa-free traveling between the two countries and imposes restrictions on the imports of certain commodities from Turkey.
[Source: Itar Tass, Paris, 30Nov15]
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