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Syrian plane carrying Russian-made munitions: Turkish PM

English.news.cn   2012-10-12 01:40:13            

ANKARA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday the Syrian passenger plane which was forced to land in the Turkish capital of Ankara a day earlier was carrying Russian-made munitions destined for Syria's defense ministry.

With debates surrounding an intercepted Syrian plane in full swing, Erdogan said that the plane was forced to land because a civilian plane can not carry materials used in the defense industry.

Speaking during a joint press conference with visiting Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Ankara, Erdogan said carrying non-civilian materials is against civil aviation rules and this is why the plane was not allowed to pass through Turkey's airspace.

Turkish authorities ordered the Syrian passenger plane, travelling from Moscow to Damascus, to land late on Wednesday over intelligence of "non-civilian cargo."

The plane, belonging to Syrian Airlines, stayed at the airport for nine hours for inspection on suspicion of carrying military equipment destined for Syria.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Thursday issued a diplomatic note to the Syrian Consulate in Turkish largest city of Istanbul over " violation of civil aviation rules" on the Syrian plane.

The receiver note on the cargo was the Syrian Defense Ministry, a Turkish official told Xinhua, adding that the cargo's bill of lading was misinformed by the Syrian authorities.

Turkey's examination on the seized cargo, which has not been confiscated yet, was still underway, and might finalize on Thursday night, the official said.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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