露軍機撃墜 非難合戦を続けている場合か

The Yomiuri Shimbun
It’s not the time for lobbing criticism over downing of Russian warplane
露軍機撃墜 非難合戦を続けている場合か

This situation has poured cold water on the opportunity for cooperation between Russia, the United States and Europe that arose due to the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month. Lobbing criticism at each other must not be allowed to derail unity among nations seeking to wipe out the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremist group.

This week, a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian bomber near the Turkey-Syria border. Turkey insists the Russian plane intruded into Turkish territorial airspace and the pilot did not respond to repeated warnings to leave the area. It reportedly had lodged protests against numerous previous violations of its airspace.

Russia, which in late September launched airstrikes in Syria, saying its aim is to stamp out ISIL, is supporting the administration of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Turkey supports Syrian antigovernment groups and gives priority to toppling the Assad administration. The diametrically opposed positions of Moscow and Ankara lurk in the background to the downing of the Russian warplane.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied the plane violated Turkish airspace and angrily retorted there would be “serious consequences.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov canceled a visit to Turkey, and Moscow has started taking other retaliatory measures such as restricting imports of agricultural products from Turkey.

However, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has supported Turkey’s side of the story, and the U.S. military also confirmed the Russian aircraft received the warnings. Russia’s assertions seem to lack credibility.

ISIL is common enemy

It is important that Russia and Turkey stop their tit-for-tat criticism, restore calm to the situation and move toward preventing a recurrence.

Russia and a coalition of willing nations led by the United States continue to conduct independent airstrikes in Syria. Setting up lines of communication between these military forces is an urgent task to help prevent unexpected situations like the downing of the Russian plane.

The international community should be concentrating on weakening ISIL, which is a common enemy. Countries with a stake in this matter also must avoid discussions that go in circles on ways to end Syria’s civil war and on a transition of political power.

The U.N. Security Council recently unanimously adopted a resolution that calls on member states to fight terrorism and newly spells out the council’s determination to crush ISIL. Britain has indicated a plan to expand airstrikes in Syria, and France has strengthened its aggressive stance by deploying an aircraft carrier to the region.

French President Francois Hollande has embarked on a rapid series of diplomatic summits as he seeks to build a wide-ranging coalition that includes Russia. Hollande and U.S. President Barack Obama held talks in Washington, and they agreed to deepen cooperation to combat ISIL. We attach great important to this chain of international cooperation.

Putin considers France to be an antiterrorism “ally” and is taking a cooperative stance on this point. He probably aims to get the United States and European nations to relax sanctions imposed on Russia due to its intervention in Ukraine, and to break Moscow’s international isolation.

However, Russia’s position does not appear to change with its aim to keep Assad in power while seizing the initiative in the Syrian situation through the use of force. Under these circumstances, it will be difficult for the United States and Europe to “fight together” alongside Russia.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 27, 2015)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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