MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow believes that Turkey made a "serious step in the right direction" after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan apologized over the downing of a Russian military plane, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday. (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov, writing by Denis Pinchuk, editing by Vladimir Soldatkin)
Turkey will not pay compensation to Russia over the downing of a fighter jet last year and has only expressed regret over the incident, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday, after President Tayyip Erdogan wrote to his Russian counterpart. The Kremlin said on Monday that Erdogan had apologized to Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a letter. Erdogan's spokesman confirmed the letter to Putin but did not refer explicitly to an apology, saying the Turkish president had expressed regret and asked the family of the pilot to "excuse us." Yildirim also told reporters in parliament that legal proceedings were underway against an individual allegedly responsible for the killing of the Russian pilot.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The U.N. chief on Tuesday criticized Israel's blockade of Gaza, a day after Israel and Turkey reached a broad reconciliation pact that looked to ease, but not eliminate, the isolation of the coastal strip.