U.S. condemns Erdogan's comments on Israel, Egypt

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:14pm EDT

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the media before he leaves for Turkmenistan at Esenboga Airport in Ankara August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the media before he leaves for Turkmenistan at Esenboga Airport in Ankara August 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States condemned comments by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accusing Israel of having a hand in the Egyptian military's overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

"We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdogan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.

Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK Party: "What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation."

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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