Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Killing of Russian Ambassador Sees as a Scheme to Ruin Syrian Peace Process

The murder of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was an appalling incitement meant at ruining Russia-Turkey relations and disrupting Moscow’s efforts to find, with Turkey and Iran, a resolution for the Syria crisis, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. In onscreen remarks, Putin, speaking at a special meeting in the Kremlin, directed security at Russian embassies around the world to be intensified and said he needed to know who had “directed” the gunman’s hand. He amassed acclaim on the murdered Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, who was shot in the back and slain as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery, and spelled out that Moscow’s reaction to his assassination would be forceful. A stern-faced Putin said, “A crime has been committed and it was without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalization of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran, and others.” Putin said he personally knew the slain envoy. He said he had agreed in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan that Russian agents would soon travel to Ankara to aid the Turks with the investigation. Putin instructed security at Turkish diplomatic facilities in Russia to be bolstered and said he wanted assurances from Turkey about the safety of Russian diplomatic facilities. In a strange coincidence, Putin had been meaning to attend a Moscow play on Monday night scripted by Alexander Griboyedov, Russia’s ambassador to Persia, who was killed in 1829. Griboyedov was killed after a mob stormed the Russian embassy seeking to lynch three Armenians, who had been granted refuge. Putin withdrew when he learned his Turkish diplomat had been murdered.



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