WELLINGTON New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Turkey to confront comments made by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the killing of at least 50 people at mosques in Christchurch.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a white supremacist terrorist, was charged with murder on Saturday after he opened fire at the two mosques during Friday prayers.
Erdogan who is seeking to drum up support for his AK Party in March 31 local elections said Turkey would make the terrorist pay if New Zealand did not.
The comments came at a campaign rally that included video footage of the shootings which the terrorist had broadcast on Facebook.
Ardern said Peters would seek urgent clarification.
Our deputy prime minister will be confronting those comments in Turkey, Ardern told reporters in Christchurch. He is going there to set the record straight, face-to-face.
Peters had earlier condemned the airing of footage of the shooting, which he said could endanger New Zealanders aboard.
Despite Peters intervention, an extract from Tarrants alleged manifesto was flashed up on a screen at Erdogans rally again on Tuesday, along with footage of the gunman entering one of the mosques and shooting as he approached the door.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he summoned Turkeys ambassador for a meeting, during which he demanded Erdogans comments be removed from Turkeys state broadcaster.
I will wait to see what the response is from the Turkish government before taking further action, but I can tell you that all options are on the table, Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
Morrison said Australias ambassador to Turkey will on Wednesday meet with the members of Erdogans government.
Morrison said Canberra is also reconsidering its travel advice for Australians planning trips to Turkey.
Relations between Turkey, New Zealand and Australia have generally been good. Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders travel each year to Turkey for war memorial services
Just over a century ago, thousands of soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) struggled ashore on a narrow beach at Gallipoli during an ill-fated campaign that would claim more than 130,000 lives.
The area has become a site of pilgrimage for visitors who honor their nations fallen in graveyards halfway around the world on ANZAC Day every April 25.