Turkey sends condolences over Greek jet crash


Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım sent condolences on behalf of himself and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the death of Greek pilot Georgios Baltadoros in the Aegean Sea, Russian state news outlet Sputnik said.

“The prime ministers agreed to keep communication channels open in the coming period and to strengthen the dialogue between the two countries in the future,” a statement from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s office said.

Greece and Turkey have often flown sorties over contested waters in the Aegean, but Greek officials denied that the downed Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000-5 jet had been involved in a dogfight before its crash landing into the sea off the island of Skyros.

The Turkish jets it had come to ward off had already left airspace claimed by Greece by the time the Greek fighter arrived, Sputnik quoted Greek Deputy Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis as saying.

Greece has declared a three-day period of mourning over the incident, it said.

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