Erdogan: “Turkey is ready to de-escalate tension between Pakistan and India”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey is ready to do its part to de-escalate tension between Pakistan and India.

Addressing a campaign rally in Trabzon, he hailed Pakistan’s move in handing over an Indian pilot downed in the recent tension, adding that he looks forward to seeing similar steps from India.

The Turkish president said that reducing bilateral tensions was in the interest of both countries.

He said he had spoken to Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi on Pak-India tensions, adding that Turkey was ready to play its role in de-escalating the ongoing tension between Pakistan and India.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed rival states escalated after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft after it violated its airspace.

Earlier, Indian jets intruded into Pakistani airspace on February 26 and dropped their payload in haste in a hilly area the Line of Control (LoC), but managed to flee away after the PAF scrambled its fighter jets.

On February 27, PAF downed two Indian jets and captured an Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Later on, Pakistan released the captured pilot on Friday as a “gesture of peace”.

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours still prevail across the LoC, with the United States and other global powers mediating to de-escalate them.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to Russia Venkatesh Varma said India will not accept any offer of mediation.

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