European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen was shocked to search out her fellow prime EU official taking the one chair accessible subsequent to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan when the duo visited Ankara, and her spokesman made that clear on Wednesday.
Footage from their assembly on Tuesday confirmed the primary feminine head of the EU govt, the one girl within the talks, gesturing in disbelief and uttering a stunned sigh as Erdogan and European Council President Charles Michel took the 2 centre-stage seats ready, relegating her to an adjoining couch.
“The president of the Fee was clearly stunned,” stated the EU govt arm’s spokesman, Eric Mamer.
“The president (von der Leyen) ought to have been seated in precisely the identical method because the president of the European Council and the Turkish president.”
The Turkish authorities didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Nevertheless, a member of the European parliament, Sophie in ‘t Veld, requested why Michel had not reacted.
Whereas the Fee conveyed von der Leyen’s irritation, an EU official who declined to be named stated that to take action may need provoked a “protocol and political incident, each in direction of Turkey and the European Council”.
“Turkey meant no disrespect,” the official stated. “It prolonged a really courteous welcome to each presidents and strictly adhered to worldwide protocol.”
Prior to now, three chairs have been supplied when the Turkish chief visited Brussels for talks with the heads of the Fee and the European Council, which collectively represents the bloc’s 27 member states.
Mamer stated von der Leyen determined to not make “a difficulty out of it” and within the dialog introduced up ladies’s rights and the Istanbul Conference on violence in opposition to ladies, from which Turkey withdrew final month.
Ties between Brussels and Ankara have been strained since a coup try in 2016 prompted a crackdown on civil rights in Turkey, however they’re now testing a cautious rapprochement.
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