Normalization of Russia-Turkey Ties to Help Settle Syria Crisis - Envoy

© REUTERS / Omar SanadikiPeople walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016
People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016 - Sputnik International
The restoration of Moscow-Ankara partnership may have a positive influence on the situation in Syria, Russia's ambassador to the war-torn country said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Improved relations between Russia and Turkey may have a positive impact on the settlement of the Syrian conflict, Russia's Ambassador to Syria Alexander Kinshchak said Thursday.

"Yesterday's decision to normalize relations with Turkey may positively impact the settlement of the Syrian crisis. If we can develop this positive tendency in relations with Turkey and attempt to return to a real partnership on Syrian crisis settlement in addition to normalizing bilateral ties, and if anti-terrorism and a goal to destroy Daesh are central in this partnership, if we come together with Turkey, this will have the most positive impact on the situation in Syria," Kinshchak told reporters.

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Relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated when a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft was shot on November 24, 2015, by a Turkish F-16 fighter near the Turkish border in Syria. Following the incident, Moscow imposed a number of restrictive measures on Turkey and has repeatedly said that Ankara should apologize for downing the plane and cover any associated material losses to the country and the pilot's family.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret and condolences for the November incident. On Wednesday, the two leaders had a phone conversation for the first time in more than seven months.

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