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Kerry Says Turkish PM's Zionism Comments 'Objectionable'

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, not pictured, in Ankara, Friday, March 1, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, not pictured, in Ankara, Friday, March 1, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the United States was dismayed by a comment from Turkey's prime minister likening Zionism to crimes against humanity.

"We not only disagree with it, but we found it objectionable," he said.

Kerry addressed a news conference in Ankara following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Kerry said the comments from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan undermine the push for peace.

"I believe there is a way forward but it obviously gets more complicated in the aftermath such as that we heard in Vienna," he said.

Kerry said he will also raise his concerns during a meeting with Erdogan.

The Turkish prime minister said during a speech in Vienna this week that Zionism should be viewed as a crime against humanity.

A spokesperson for U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon called the statement unfortunate, hurtful and divisive.

Once-close relations between Turkey and Israel have deteriorated since a deadly 2010 Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship that was part of a flotilla trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. Nine Turks were killed in the raid. Israel says its forces acted in self-defense.

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