European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was stunned to seek out her fellow prime EU official taking the one chair out there 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 shocked 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 Commission was clearly surprised,” mentioned the EU govt arm’s spokesman, Eric Mamer.
“The president (von der Leyen) should have been seated in exactly the same manner as the president of the European Council and the Turkish president.”
The Turkish authorities didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
However, a member of the European parliament, Sophie in ‘t Veld, requested why Michel had not reacted.
While the Commission conveyed von der Leyen’s irritation, an EU official who declined to be named mentioned that to take action may need provoked a “protocol and political incident, both towards Turkey and the European Council”.
“Turkey meant no disrespect,” the official mentioned. “It extended a very courteous welcome to both presidents and strictly adhered to international protocol.”
In the previous, three chairs had been supplied when the Turkish chief visited Brussels for talks with the heads of the Commission and the European Council, which collectively represents the bloc’s 27 member states.
Mamer mentioned von der Leyen determined to not make “an issue out of it” and within the dialog introduced up girls’s rights and the Istanbul Convention on violence in opposition to girls, 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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