Foreign Ministry Welcomes Russia, Turkey Steps to Mend Ties

Foreign Ministry Welcomes  Russia, Turkey Steps to Mend Ties Foreign Ministry Welcomes  Russia, Turkey Steps to Mend Ties

Iran's Foreign Ministry welcomed the decision by Ankara and Moscow to normalize ties seven months after a Russian military jet was shot down by Turkey in Syria.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Thursday described as positive the recent moves by Turkey and Russia aimed at restoring ties, Tasnim News Agency reported.

He said Tehran fully supports the moves.

Iran hopes that revival of ties between the two countries will be in the interest of the Russian and Turkish people as well as the region, Qasemi noted.

He expressed hope that Ankara's decision would help consolidate mutual cooperation between the two states, contribute to peace and stability in the region and help strengthen the ongoing anti-terror campaign.

The Kremlin said last Monday the Turkish president had apologized to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ankara's shooting down of the Russian jet.

Turkey, meanwhile, said it had only expressed regret to Russia, denying reports of an apology, and retracting a compensation pledge.

On Wednesday, Putin ordered his government to start the process of normalizing trade ties with Turkey.

"I ask that the Russian government begins the process of normalizing general trade and economic ties with Turkey," Putin said at a cabinet meeting, following a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The phone call between the two leaders came after Putin expressed sympathy for the victims of the Tuesday gun and bomb attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, which claimed the lives of 43 people and injured 239 others.

Erdogan had earlier sent a letter to Putin, congratulating him on Russia's National Day.

Moscow-Ankara ties plunged to an unprecedentedly low level after a Turkish F-16 fighter downed a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber in northern Syria in November 2015.

One of the Russian pilots was killed on the ground by a militant group. The other pilot was released and returned to Russia.