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Turkey, Russia foreign ministers hold first meeting since downed plane

Turkish FM said he expects recovery of relations while Russian counterpart reportedly hears 'nothing new'
Turkey said it shot down the Russian plane for violating its airspace (AA)

Ankara expects a "recovery" in its strained relationship with Russia, but warned that the process would require patience, Turkey’s foreign minister said.

Mevlut Cavusoglu's comments came on Thursday night after his first meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov since Turkish F-16s downed a Russian warplane near the Syrian boder on 24 November.

The two ministers were attending the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

"We are at a point where we do not want to be right now," said Cavusoglu. "Relations should continue to put the negotiations back on track. We are for it."

"Both sides do not want to escalate [problems] and want to fix relations, but we have different opinions and positions. We, as Turkey, want to resolve these differences."

Russia Today, however, reported that Lavrov said he heard nothing new from his Turkish counterpart regarding Ankara's position on the downing of the Russian warplane.

Cavusoglu also said he hoped Russian would cease making "groundless accusations" and expects the recovery of diplomatic relations with Russia.

"But we also need to know that it cannot go like this forever," he said.

Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin failed to meet in Paris during an ongoing climate change conference, despite a reported request from Ankara.