11 March 2013 -- Brussels -- The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes EU High Representative Baroness Catherine Ashton's condemnation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hateful remark that Zionism is a "crime against humanity."
“What I would say is that the reports of what he said are unacceptable and that those remarks by anybody would be unacceptable to the European Union now and ever," said Lady Ashton at the press conference following today's Foreign Affairs Council. Ashton joins a chorus of other international leaders, including the United Nations Secretary General, the German Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State, in expressing their outrage over the Turkish leader's remarks (see below).
"Lady Ashton was quite right to speak out forcefully against Prime Minister Erdogan's vitriol," said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute. "The EU has sent an important message to Turkey's leadership that such attacks against Israel are incompatible with European values."
On Friday, 20 Members of the European Parliament sent a letter to Lady Ashton calling for the EU to condemn Prime Minister Erdogan's statement.
Condemnations From Other World Leaders (with sources):
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon: Mr. Erdogan's comment was "not only wrong but contradicts the very principles on which the Alliance of Civilizations is based... The Secretary-General believes is it is unfortunate that such hurtful and divisive comments were uttered at a meeting being held under the theme of responsible leadership." (see here)
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: "These remarks are hurtful and unacceptable." (see here)
Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger: "This equation is completely unacceptable." The statement "is diametrically opposed to all that is the Alliance of Civilizations, co-founded by Turkey." (see here)
EU Special Envoy Andreas Reinicke: "Not helpful and unacceptable." (see here)
The White House: "We reject Prime Minister Erdogan’s characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity, which is offensive and wrong... We encourage people of all faiths, cultures, and ideas to denounce hateful actions and to overcome the differences of our times." (see here)
US Secretary of State John Kerry: "We not only disagree with it. We found it objectionable." (see here)
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird: "We deplore them." (see here)
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: "This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world." (see here)