Responding to Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek, who said he prayed disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma would continue in the United States, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said she hopes his prayers fall on deaf ears.
Nauert was asked during a press briefing with foreign journalists about tweets made by Gökçek, who said he prayed that such disasters would continue so that the US does not have time to fight with Turkey.
“I am a woman of faith myself and I hope his prayers fall on deaf ears, because I cannot imagine praying for tragedy for any nation, really,” said Nauert.
Accusing the US of causing fighting and enmity among Muslims, Gökçek had said: “The cost of hurricanes Harvey and Irma to the US is $290 billion. Let’s continue to pray: ‘God, give those who are fighting with us such troubles so that they forget us’.”
Following Nauert’s remarks, Gökçek tweeted that his words were misinterpreted and that he did not want the American people to suffer but was accusing the US government of causing conflict among Muslims in the Middle East and around the world.