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Nazarbaev Urges Probe On Russian Plane Downing

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has urged Turkey and Russia to set up a bilateral commission to investigate the downing of a Russian warplane near the border of Turkey and Syria.

Nazarbaev's office says he told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone early on November 30 that he is concerned about Ankara’s deteriorating relations with Russia over the November 24 incident.

In his annual address to the nation on November 30, Nazarbaev reiterated his stance, adding that "the Russian bomber did not attack Turkey, was not heading towards Turkey."

Turkey says the plane violated Turkish airspace and its pilot ignored repeated warning calls.

Ankara has expressed sadness, but refused Russian demands to apologize -- insisting that its military followed proper procedures.

Russia insists the plane never left Syrian airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 28 ordered economic sanctions against Turkey over the incident.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, Interfax