Pandor offers condolences to Russian ambassador in SA after Ankara shooting

2016-12-20 17:39
Russian ambassador to South Africa Mikhail Petrakov accompanies Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on the Russian research vessel Akademik Treshnikov (Jenni Evans, News24)

Russian ambassador to South Africa Mikhail Petrakov accompanies Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor on the Russian research vessel Akademik Treshnikov (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor offered condolences to Russia's ambassador to South Africa on Tuesday after the assassination of his Turkish counterpart Andrei Karlov.

"It is something that should not happen in any part of the world," Pandor said to ambassador Mikhail Petrakov at a ceremony to mark the departure of the Russian research vessel Akademik Treshnikov from Cape Town harbour.

Swiss ambassador Helene Budliger called for a moment of silence on the quay for Karlov, who was shot at a gallery in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.

A number of security guards kept a low profile in the crowd of dignitaries gathered in front of the Russian vessel. It will sail to Antarctica for research on 22 projects by scientists from around the globe, including South Africa.

According to the Guardian online, the Turkish interior ministry named the attacker as Mevlut Mert Altintas, an officer in Ankara's riot police squad.

Footage of the assassination shows him shouting "Don't forget Aleppo", a reference to the besieged Syrian city.

He was shot dead by police.

Russia is assisting Syrian military efforts to destroy rebel strongholds in Aleppo. The conflict has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe with large numbers of Syrians fleeing in search of refuge in other countries.

South African NGO Gift of the Givers is among organisations trying to assist refugees and the injured in Syria.

Its website explains that hospitals and civilians are being deliberately targeted in attacks, creating shortages of food, water, medicine and medical equipment.

Read more on:    naledi pandor  |  turkey  |  russia

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