Dutch PM: Turkish president must stop provocation, apologize for comments

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD Liberal party campaigns for the 2017 Dutch election in Breda, Netherlands March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

SCHEVENINGEN, Netherlands (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Sunday “inflammatory remarks” by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who compared the Dutch to the Nazis, would not help de-escalate a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Rutte said that while the Netherlands did not seek confrontation with Ankara, it would have to weigh further options if Turkey did not stop making such comments.

“It is now in the interest of leadership and in the interest of working together to try to de-escalate, but of course the Turks then have to help and what they are saying today is not helping,” Rutte told journalists.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Mark Potter