Erdogan Softens Zionism Remarks As Obama Lands in Israel

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the media in Ankara before his flight to Denmark for an official visit on March 19. (photo by REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

As US President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on March 20, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began an official visit to Denmark with an effort to clarify the controversial remarks he made on Feb. 27 at a UN conference in Vienna referring to Zionism as a crime against humanity. “Let no one misunderstand what I said. Everyone knows that my criticism [of Israel] focuses on some critical issues. It’s directed especially toward Israeli policies on Gaza,” Erdogan said in an interview with Politiken, a Danish newspaper. “As long as Israel denies Palestinians the right to statehood, our criticisms will continue. On the other hand, we have recognized Israel’s existence within 1967 borders based on a two-state solution.”

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Categories: Al-Monitor