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Russia: Envoy's murder won't derail Turkish relations

By AP Reporters

Russian officials investigating the assassination of their ambassador to Turkey have vowed that the killing would not disrupt efforts to repair the two countries' relationship.

Enquiries are focusing on whether the man who shot Andrei Karlov at a photo exhibition launch in the Turkish capital Ankara was a 'lone wolf' gunman or part of a wider conspiracy.

In a separate attack, a man with a shotgun was detained after he fired into the air outside the US Embassy in Ankara. No-one was hurt. Ankara and Moscow back opposing sides in the Syrian civil war.

Mr Karlov was shot dead on Monday by a Turkish policeman who shouted slogans about Aleppo, the Syrian city where Russian bombardments have targeted rebel factions.

The killer, who fired multiple shots, shouted in Turkish: "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!" He also shouted "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great".

The gunman, Mevlut Mert Altintas, was later killed in a shoot-out with police.

Authorities identified him as a 22-year-old member of Ankara's riot police squad, but did not disclose any motive for the attack.

Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan condemned the murder as a "heinous attack".

Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Sir Alan said: "You can be assured that the Foreign Office, in a proper way, has been in contact both with our Turkish and our Russian counterparts to express our condolences."

Yesterday the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey attended a previously scheduled meeting in Moscow, where they said they were committed to advancing peace efforts in Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey and Russia would work together to determine who was behind the "heinous terror attack" against Mr Karlov, who was killed in front of a stunned audience while making remarks at a photo exhibition in Ankara.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was hosting Mr Cavusoglu, as well as the Foreign Minister of Iran, for a meeting to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Top Turkish, Russian and Iranian defence officials were also meeting. Russia and Iran have backed the government of Bashar Assad, while Turkey has supported rebels fighting him.

"Turkey and Russia have shown the world what they can achieve when they co-operate," Mr Cavusoglu said at the start of the meeting with Mr Lavrov, referring to a Turkish and Russian-brokered peace deal that paved the way for the evacuation of thousands of people from Aleppo.

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