ANKARA — The United States and Israel have rejected statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who compared Zionism to fascism at a U.N. meeting aiming to promote dialogue between all faiths.
Speaking in Vienna this week, Erdogan said Islamophobia ought to be considered a crime against humanity "just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply condemned the statement late Thursday calling it "dark and mendacious."
U.S. National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said the characterization was "offensive and wrong" and said people of all religions should "denounce hateful actions and overcome ... differences."
U.S. State Secretary John Kerry is expected to raise the issue when he meets with Erdogan and other Turkish leaders in Ankara on Friday.
Erdogan's ruling party has roots in Turkey's Islamic movement.