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April 23, 2013 11:05 am

Erdogan Embarrasses Kerry, Calls His Request to Delay Gaza Visit “Not Nice”

avatar by Zach Pontz

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Photo: Wilson Dias.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday he will not postpone his visit to Gaza scheduled for next month, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“Kerry’s statement is not ‘nice.’ Our deputy prime minister has already given the appropriate response,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying Tuesday.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Erdoğan to delay his visit to Gaza, a request that was rebuffed by Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Bülent Arınç.

“His comments that ‘we do not want the prime minister to go in May’ are not right in a diplomatic sense,” Arınç told a press conference. “A foreign minister should not express, and should not have expressed, their opinion regarding a planned visit by the Turkish prime minister. An experienced foreign minister would definitely not have made such remarks.”

Kerry told reporters in Istanbul on April 21 that he believed that “it would be more helpful [for Erdogan] to wait for the right circumstance … We’re trying to get off the ground, and we would like to see the parties with as little outside distraction as possible.”

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