Turkish Anxiety Over Instability in the Caucasus

ANKARA (CNA)–The Turkish Daily News reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry is anxious about possible instability not only in Georgia–but also in the region–as a consequence of Russia’s bombardment of Georgian land on Aug. 23.

The Ministry–in a written statement about the August 23 bombing of Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge by Russian planes–claimed Russia violated Georgia’s airspace–and continued: "We have learned with deep sorrow that many Georgian people died in the attacks. Turkey gives great importance to Georgia’s stability and security–and is also anxious about possible instability as consequence of such issues–both in Georgia and in the region. Everybody knows that the stability and welfare of the Caucasus very important to Turkey.

"Turkey believes in the vital importance of showing respect to the independence–sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries [of the Caucasus] in order to ensure stability and welfare in the area–as well as the need for solidarity and cooperation between regional countries."

"We are waiting for the two countries to act with common sense," the statement added.

According to Georgia–one of its citizens was killed and seven were injured in the bombardment. Russia has denied the Georgian claims.

Tensions between Georgia and Russia increased earlier this month when Georgia rejected a Russian demand for the extradition of Chechen rebels in the Pankisi Gorge.

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