“Me sorry much for the fact. I have already expressed my regret to the lady von der Leyen and to all women. I assure you that since then I have not slept well at night and that in my head I rewound the movie of the episode dozens of times. I take my share of responsibility. We will have to avoid such situations in the future. Unfortunately, the affair contributed to concealing the substance of the meeting with President Erdogan and in this situation the Union’s ability to show unity “.

This was stated by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, during a meeting with a group of European newspapers, including The sun 24 hours, returning to the diplomatic incident ad Ankara which saw the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, relegated to a sofa ‘while her two interlocutors – the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Michel himself – sat in the armchair. “I had a few seconds to decide the attitude to have. At the moment, my impression was that any reaction would have cast doubt on the long diplomatic work that had prepared our visit. Furthermore, I did not want to have towards the lady. von der Leyen no paternalistic attitude.

That said, I respect contrary opinions and understand the criticisms that have been leveled at me “, said Miche, answering a question about why he didn’t sit next to von der Leyen or why he didn’t give her his seat in the chair. of the Council Mario Draghi, who defined Turkish President Erdogan as a “dictator”: “I respect the views expressed by each European head of state and government. Here I want to note that a significant part of our meeting with the Turkish president was about defending democratic values ​​and Rule of law. We have expressed our concerns. “

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