[Transcript of the conversation between Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah on November 24. This was sent to The Times by the Russian Embassy. Note that “Daesh” is the Arabic name for ISIS.]
PRESIDENT of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Majesty, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Russia.
We maintain constant contacts with you. Today, when there is such a serious struggle against international terrorism, it is obvious that we must join our efforts. I am happy to state that our military and official services are working in this direction.
Apart from that, we have other matters to discuss – I am referring to our bilateral relations.
King Abdullah II of Jordan: My dear brother, I thank you very much for seeing me today, on a day when you have many weighty issues on your shoulders.
I would like to offer my condolences and those of the Jordanian people for that tragic terrorist heinous attack on the innocent Russians that lost their lives through the Metrojet terrorist attack, as well as the loss of your pilot today. I believe that this compels the international community to work stronger together both militarily and diplomatically in the context of Vienna, which is something that you have been a strong sponsor of.
You know, Mr President, I have said for many years that the only way of finding a political solution in Syria is with the strong role that both you and Russia play for a political solution for the Syrian people.
Your fight against Daesh is a fight that all of us have to do together not only in Syria and Iraq but also both you and I have said that this a global war, a war that binds all of us together.
Daesh, Al Qaeda and their offshoots want this to be a fight against humanity. And you and
I have both hoped for many years about the holistic nature of this challenge — how we have to combine international efforts not only in our region but to fight this in Africa, in Asia, in Europe as well as our region.
So these are not only the challenges we face in Syria and Iraq, but also we have seen terrorism in Saudi Arabia, in Beirut, and unfortunately recently in Paris as well as Mali.
I know that this is a fight that both you and I, our countries and many others in the world are determined to win. Again, this is an opportunity for all of us in the international community to come together and fight this fight as part of a coordinated international body. I again commend the very strong relationship between our two countries and between you and myself.
I have known you for many years and our relationship has always been a strong one, and I know that it will continue to move from strength to strength.
I thank you for the valuable time that you have given me today on a very difficult day for you and for your people.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Your Majesty.
Thank you for your condolences, including your words in connection with today’s crash of our fighter aircraft. This event goes beyond regular efforts to combat terrorism.
Our servicemen are engaged in a heroic fight against terrorism, not sparing themselves or their own lives. However, today’s loss is a result of a stab in the back delivered by terrorists’ accomplices. There is no other way I can qualify what happened today.
Our aircraft was shot down over Syrian territory by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 plane. It fell on Syrian territory, four kilometers from the Turkish border.
When it was attacked in the air, it was flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters, one kilometer away from the Turkish territory. In any case, our plane and our pilots were in no way a threat to the Turkish Republic. This is obvious.
They were conducting an operation to fight ISIS in northern Latakia – a mountainous area where militants, mainly those coming from the Russian Federation, are concentrated. In this sense, they were doing their direct duty delivering preventive blows at terrorists who could return to Russia at any moment. Those people should certainly be classified as international terrorists.
We have long been recording the movement of a large amount of oil and petroleum products to Turkey from ISIS-occupied territories. This explains the significant funding the terrorists are receiving. Now they are stabbing us in the back by hitting our planes that are fighting terrorism. This is happening despite the agreement we have signed with our American partners to prevent air incidents, and, as you know, Turkey is among those who are supposed to be fighting terrorism within the American coalition.
If ISIS is making so much money – we are talking about tens or maybe even hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars – in oil trade and they are supported by the armed forces of an entire state, it is clear why they are being so daring and impudent, why they are killing people in such gruesome ways, why they are committing terrorist attacks all over the world, including in the heart of Europe.
We will of course carefully analyze what has happened and today’s tragic event will have significant consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.
We have always treated Turkey not merely as a close neighbor, but as a friendly state. I do not know who benefits from what has happened today. We certainly do not. Moreover, instead of immediately establishing contacts with us, as far as we know Turkey turned to its NATO partners to discuss this incident. As if we had hit their plane and not the other way around.
Do they wish to make NATO serve ISIS? I know that every state has its regional interests, and we always respect those. However, we will never turn a blind eye to such crimes as the one that was committed today.
Obviously, we expect the international community to make an effort to join forces in the fight against this common evil.
In this connection, we are counting on the active participation of all the countries in the region in this struggle. I am therefore very happy to meet with you today, Your Majesty. We will continue working with your special services experts and your military, as well as with other countries in the region.