US condemns Syrian downing of Turkish warplane
Top US diplomat has said her country strongly condemned downing of a Turkish warplane by Syria.
"The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security," Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton said Sunday in written statement.
Clinton said she spoke with her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, receiving a briefing about "specifics of the incident," adding, "I also told him that our thoughts and prayers are with the missing pilots and their loved ones."
"The United States reaffirms its strong support for the Turkish Government and its solidarity with the Turkish people in the wake of this incident. We will maintain close contact with Turkish officials as they continue to investigate the incident and determine Turkey's response, including in the Security Council. We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable," she said.
Clinton said Turkey had been a leader in the international community's effort to address the Syrian regime's violence against its own people and that the US would continue its close cooperation with Turkey as part of the broader effort to promote a democratic transition in Syria.
"This work is urgent, and we will be consulting in New York with the Security Council, in Brussels with NATO and the EU, and in Geneva with Special Envoy Kofi Annan on next steps," she said.
Other nations joined the United States to react to the downing of an F-4 warplane which Turkey said was shot down in international airspace over the Mediterranean last Friday in "an explicit hostile act."
"This is another grave and unacceptable act of the Assad regime," Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said, adding that Italy strongly condemned the incident.
Terzi said Italy would "assume an active role" in an urgent meeting of NATO set for Tuesday upon Turkey's call under Article 4 of NATO founding treaty.
Bulgaria and Spain also issued statements condemning the downing of the Turkish warplane.