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UN chief Ban Ki-moon urges de-escalating tensions after Russian jet downed

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United Nations : UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed serious concern over the downing of a Russian military jet by Turkey on the Syrian border and asked all sides to take urgent measures to de-escalate tensions.

“The secretary-general urges all relevant parties to take urgent measures with a view to de-escalate the tensions,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a note to the media. “He hopes that a credible and thorough review of the incident will clarify the events and help prevent future recurrences,” the spokesperson added.

The Russian SU-24 jet was shot down on Tuesday by NATO member Turkey somewhere over the Turkey-Syria border, an act Russian President Vladimir Putin said would have “serious consequences” for ties between the two countries. “As he reiterated a number of times, all those who are engaged in military activities in Syria, especially air campaigns, need to maximise operational measures to avoid unintended consequences and, of course and most importantly, to do whatever they can to avoid civilian casualties and to protect civilians,” Ban s spokesperson said.

In the wake of the event, the UN chief believes that “worrying development” underscores the importance of international unity and cooperation in international action against violent extremists in the region, as well as the urgent need to agree on a political solution to the tragic events in Syria. Despite the raging tensions, there was no immediate request for an emergency Security Council meeting.

In a letter to the Security Council, Turkey’s Ambassador to the UN Halit Cevik said that his government was determined to defend its sovereignty, security and borders.

PTI