MOSCOW: Russian investigators on Tuesday arrived in Turkey to help probe the killing of the country’s ambassador in Ankara, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“Our presidents agreed that in addition to the actions launched by the Turkish special services, a Russian investigative group would fly to Ankara,” Lavrov told Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at the start of talks on Syria in Moscow.
“As far as I understand, it has landed in the Turkish capital.”
The same plane will bring ambassador Andrei Karlov’s body back to Russia, Lavrov added.
Cavusoglu told Lavrov that the Ankara street where the Russian embassy is located would be renamed in Karlov’s honour.
The two diplomats also laid flowers in front of a portrait of the slain envoy.
Karlov, 62, was gunned down Monday at the opening of a Russian photography exhibition in Ankara by a Turkish policeman crying “Aleppo” and ” God is greatest”, in what Moscow called a “terrorist act”.
Putin said that the Ankara murder was designed to undermine ties that have been patched up since a furious dispute over Ankara’s downing of a Russian jet in Syria in November 2015 and to sabotage efforts find a settlement on the conflict in the war-torn country.
Moscow and Ankara are on different sides of the conflict in Syria but the two countries have worked closely together to evacuate citizens from the battered city of Aleppo.
The foreign and defence ministers from Russia, Turkey and Iran are meeting Tuesday in Moscow for key talks on Syria.
Turkish police detain six
Turkish police have detained six people over the killing of the Russian ambassador, state media said, who was shot in the back as he gave a speech in Ankara on Monday by an off-duty police officer.
The state-run Anadolu agency said on Tuesday the attacker’s mother, father, sister and two other relatives were held in the western province of Aydin, while his flatmate in Ankara was also detained.
Police paced up and down behind a cordon on Tuesday morning outside the art gallery where the ambassador, Andrey Karlov, was shot. A crime scene investigation van was parked outside the building.
The United States said its three missions in Turkey would be closed on Tuesday after a gun was fired in front of the US embassy in Ankara overnight. The embassy was near the art gallery where Karlov was shot and Turkish police detained a man over the incident, state media reported.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday the two countries’ foreign ministers had underlined the need to put more effort into effectively fighting terrorism in a phone call overnight.