An emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Tuesday strongly condemned Syria's downing of a warplane of neighboring Turkey last week.
Ambassadors of all the 28 NATO Allies met in Brussels at Turkey's request to hold consultations within the framework of Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which states that "the Parties will consult whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any of the Parties is threatened."
The Syrian military shot down the Turkish jet on Friday over the Mediterranean near the Syrian border. A search was on to trace its two crew-members.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on state TV on Sunday that the plane briefly strayed into Syrian airspace by mistake, but it was shot down in international airspace without giving an advance warning.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the Council said it considered the shooting to be unacceptable, and termed it "another example of the Syrian authorities' disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life."
"Our thoughts at this difficult time are with the missing Turkish aircrew, their families and their loved ones. We continue to follow the situation closely and with great concern, and will remain seized of developments on the South-Eastern border of NATO," the statement added.
NATO vowed that security of the Alliance is "indivisible," and made it clear "we stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity."
by RTT Staff Writer
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