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Saturday, October 22, 2016

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House on Tuesday condemned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s claim that Israel had a role in toppling ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the comments were “offensive and unsubstantiated and wrong.”

Erdogan earlier accused Israel of being behind the military-backed ouster of Morsi last month.

“What do they say about Egypt: democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? It’s Israel,” Erdogan, an outspoken critic of the Jewish state, told a meeting of his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“We have the evidence,” he said, citing what he said were comments by an Israeli justice minister to a 2011 forum in France in which he allegedly said Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood would not be able to remain in power even if it won elections.

Erdogan’s accusation was furiously rejected by Egypt, which said it had “no basis in fact.”

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