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    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 3, 2016.

    Moscow, Ankara Need Each Other, Remain Region Important Powers - Turkish PM

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    According to the Turkish prime minister, Russia and Turkey need each other as the countries remain important regional powers.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia and Turkey are neighbors and need each other as both remain important regional powers, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday.

    "Our line of conduct remains unchanged. Russia and Turkey have always been neighbors. Today, both of our countries remain important for the region. We need each other. The incident with the plane was not an action directed against Russia," Davutoglu said in an interview with Al Jazeera Turk.

    The prime minister also ruled out a possible conflict between Turkey and Russia if Turkey began a ground military operation in Syria.

    "This is an incorrect scenario…It is not Russia that is facing the threat posed by the Islamic State [IS], but Turkey," he said, adding that the international fight against Daesh is governed by UN resolutions and that Turkey does not want to fall out with any country.

    Russian-Turkish relations deteriorated following the downing of a Russian Su-24 aircraft by a Turkish F-16 fighter in Syria on November 24, 2015. The jet had been carrying out strikes against terrorist targets. Moscow imposed a number of restrictive measures on Turkey in response to what Russian President Vladimir Putin classified as a "stab in the back."

    In recent months, Turkey's southern districts have been subjected to shelling from the territories in Syria occupied by Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries. Turkish troops deployed in the vicinity of the country's border with Syria have retaliated by shelling Daesh targets.

    Earlier this week, Russia expressed concern over any potential ground operation in Syria, advising against such actions.


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