Russian envoy killing widely condemned

‘There can be no justification for an attack on a diplomat or an ambassador,’ UN spokesman said

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The killing of Russian ambassador in Ankara on Monday was widely condemned immediately after the attack, leading with the United Nations.

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The United Nations condemned an attack on the Russian ambassador to Ankara, who was shot and killed in an attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital on Monday.

“We condemn the gun attack on the Russian ambassador to Turkey. There can be no justification for an attack on a diplomat or an ambassador,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “We hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice.”

The United States moved quickly to condemn the attack. “We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

The US spokesman did not suggest who might have been behind the attack, which witnesses said was carried out by a gunman demanding “revenge” for Aleppo.

Russian forces were instrumental in helping government troops recapture the city of Aleppo from rebel forces in Turkey’s neighbor Syria last week.

Washington has previously warned Moscow that its support for Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime risks radicalizing moderate rebels and boosting support for extremists.

In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Monday while confirming the death of the country’s envoy said: “We regard this as a terrorist act.”

Zakharova said Moscow was in touch with Turkish authorities, who she said had promised a thorough investigation.

The matter would be raised at the UN Security Council later on Monday, she added.

“Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively,” said Zakharova, saying the Russian Foreign Ministry would be issuing a further statement later in the day.

“The memory of an outstanding Russian diplomat, Andrei Gennadyevich Karlov, a person who did a great deal to fight terrorism in his diplomatic post, will always be in our hearts.”

Talks in Moscow about the future of Syria involving Russia, Iran and Turkey will go ahead on Tuesday despite the murder of the Russian ambassador to Ankara, the Interfax news agency cited Leonid Slutsky, a senior parliamentarian, as saying.

The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey are due to discuss the future of Syria in Moscow on Tuesday. Slutsky is chairman of the State Duma or lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee.

The attack on the Russian ambassador was an attempt at ruining Turkish relations with Moscow, the mayor of Ankara said.

Melih Gokcek made the comment to reporters outside the hospital where the ambassador was taken after being shot in an art gallery in the Turkish capital.

Security around the Russian embassy in Ankara has been stepped up, the RIA agency reported.

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