Dutch FM slams Erdogan over anti-Zionist comment.(TOI).The Dutch foreign minister lambasted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s derogatory comments about Zionism, less than a week before Erdogan’s scheduled arrival in Amsterdam for an official state visit.
“The statement is unacceptable and I fully understand that the reaction in Israel has been one of dismay,” Frans Timmermans said Friday in a formal answer to written questions by Dutch members of parliament.
Last month, Erdogan sparked international condemnation when he described Zionism as a “crime against humanity” on a par with anti-Semitism and fascism. The United States, the European Union, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took Erdogan to task for his comments, as did numerous Jewish and international human rights groups.
“These kind of statements are damaging to a constructive climate for peace in the region and are hindering normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel,” Timmermans said. ”The Netherlands remains a proponent of better relations between Turkey and Israel and will continue to strive for this.”
Timmermans, who became the Netherlands’ foreign minister less than half a year ago, said that his government’s position “has been made clear to Turkey” on both “a political and civil servants’ level.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also censured his Turkish counterpart for “a dark and mendacious statement, the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.”
Erdogan is expected to visit the Netherlands on Thursday.Read the full story here.