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Russia, Turkey must de-escalate tensions: Ban

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Technicians service a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 tactical bomber at Syria's Hmeimim airport. (Sputnik)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has voiced concerns over tensions between Russia and Turkey after a Russian fighter jet was recently downed by Turkish F-16s.   

During an interview with the Associated Press in Paris on Sunday, Ban said he had called on "the leadership of the two countries to first de-escalate the tension" in the region.

He stressed that "division and tension” between those fighting the terrorists would hinder the mobilization of further global commitment towards stopping extremism and terrorism.

The UN chief is currently in the French capital for a global climate conference, which will kick off on Monday.  

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon (C) leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris on November 29, 2015. (AP)    

On Tuesday, Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 bomber, which it claimed had entered its airspace – an allegation Russia denies. One of the two pilots was rescued while the other was killed by Takfiri militants after parachuting from the plane.     

Meanwhile, Russian diplomats have claimed the body of the deceased pilot, lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, from Turkish officials in Ankara.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that the remains of the pilot had been collected by Turkish authorities and treated in accordance to Orthodox Christian tradition.   

It is still not clear when the body will be returned to Russia or how Turkey recovered it from the Syria militants.

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