Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan under fire from US after calling Zionism a 'crime against humanity'

John Kerry set to criticise PM over 'particularly offensive' comments

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The Independent Online

The United States is to complain to the Turkish prime minister for comments he made calling Zionism a crime against humanity.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ankara today.

Kerry is reportedly planning to take the Turkish PM to task over the comments, which he described as "particularly offensive".

Mr Erdogan said in Vienna that Islamophobia ought to be considered a crime against humanity "just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sharply condemned the statement calling it "dark and mendacious".

US National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said the characterisation was "offensive and wrong" and said people of all religions should "denounce hateful actions and overcome ... differences".

A UN statement said: "If the comment about Zionism was interpreted correctly, then it was not only wrong, but contradicts the very principles on which the Alliance of Civilizations is based."

The statement said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "believes it is unfortunate that such hurtful and divisive comments were uttered at a meeting being held under the theme of responsible leadership."