June 27, 2016 / 7:30 PM / 3 years ago

Turkey's Erdogan says ties with Russia to normalize 'rapidly'

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan (2nd R) walks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin prior to their meeting at the Group of 20 (G20) leaders summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey, November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Kayhan Ozer/Pool

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he believed Ankara would normalize relations with Moscow “rapidly” after expressing regret over the downing of a Russian warplane last year.

“I believe we will normalize our relations with Russia rapidly by ending the existing situation which is not in the interest of both sides,” Erdogan said at a dinner to break the fast for the holy month of Ramadan.

Earlier on Monday, Turkey announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel after a six-year rupture and expressed regret to Russia over the downing of the plane over Syria last year, seeking to mend strained alliances and ease a sense of isolation on the world stage.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Andrew Roche

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