ANKARA, Turkey – Senior American officials say U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will take Turkey's prime minister to task for "particularly offensive" comments he made this week at a U.N. conference in Vienna, in which he equated Zionism to fascism as "a crime against humanity."
Speaking aboard Kerry's plane as he flew from Rome to Ankara on Friday, the officials called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks "offensive" and "wrong" and said such statements have a "corrosive" impact on America's ability to work with Turkey on a broad range of issues on which the two countries collaborate.
The White House on Thursday issued a statement condemning the statements.
Outrage over the remarks threatens to overshadow Kerry's visit to NATO ally Turkey on his first official overseas trip as secretary of state. He has spent much of his time at the first three stops focusing on the conflict in Syria.
Fox News' James Rosen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.