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EU FMs condemn Syria

25 June 2012 11:59 (Last updated 25 June 2012 15:12)
EU foreign ministers condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkish military plane.

BRUSSELS

European Union foreign ministers have condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkish military plane in the international airspace over the Mediterranean last Friday.
"European Union condemns the unacceptable downing by Syria of a Turkish plane on June 22. The EU shares the pain of the families of the airmen and praises Turkey's restraint and responsible first reaction," foreign ministers said in a resolution after their meeting in Brussels on Monday.  
EU's top diplomats said the incident must be investigated urgently and thoroughly, urging Syrian authorities to fully cooperate with Turkey and grant access for rapid probe. 
The resolution also called on Syria to abide by international standards and its obligations.

EU foreign ministers gather in meeting on Syria

Foreign ministers of the European Union on Monday gathered in a Brussels meeting on Syria to seek ways to build up pressure on Assad regime to step down.

The meeting also comes just days after Syria shot down a Turkish warplane last Friday in international airspace over the Mediterranean in what Turkey had said an "open and grave hostile violation" of international law.
EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, urged Turkey to act with restraint in its response to the incident.
Turkey has said it "reserves all rights stemming from international law and the Turkish government will decisively take all necessary counter measures on over our missing pilots and plane."   
Ashton said she spoke to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the phone, adding that Monday's meeting in Brussels would also take up the incident. 
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the Syrian attack on an unarmed plane which was on a routine flight was unacceptable.  
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the downing of the Turkish plane did not make shift on the Netherlands' position on Syria, adding that his country would not participate in "an intervention."   
Rosenthal said a NATO meeting set for Tuesday on a request by Turkey under Article 4 of the founding treaty of the Alliance was for political consultations, "and political consultations would have only a political dimension to them."  
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the Syrian crisis could be settled through a diplomatic solution, calling for more support for the Annan plan.    
"The best solution is still a non-military one," Westerwelle said.

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