Turkey.- Michel justifies that he did not act against the rudeness of Von der Leyen for not “aggravating” the situation
MADRID, Apr 7. 2021 (Europa Press) –
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, assured this Wednesday that if he did not act before the rudeness of the Government of Turkey to his partner, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, it was for not “aggravating” the “unfortunate situation “that took place and” privilege “thus the” political discussion “with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The few images that were shown gave the impression that I had been insensitive to this situation. Nothing could be further from reality, nor from my deepest feelings and principles of respect,” Michel explained in a statement.
“At that time, upon perceiving the regrettable nature of the situation, we chose not to aggravate it and to privilege the substantive meeting and the political discussion that we were going to initiate,” affirmed Michel, who has blamed “the” strict interpretation “of the protocol by Turkey.
The incident occurred at the beginning of the meeting in the Ankara presidential palace, where Erdogan received both community leaders. In the room in question there were only two armchairs, which were occupied by Michel and the Turkish president, to the surprise of Von der Leyen, who was accommodated on a sofa to one side, facing the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“Our visit marked an important moment in the complex process of improving the European Union’s relations with Turkey. It was the result of careful preparation and diplomatic work carried out over many months to bring this country back to adopt a more constructive approach in its relationship with the EU, “he argued.
“The content of the speech we gave to President Erdogan was on the Istanbul Convention, the rights of women and children and, more generally, the defense of our fundamental values of the rule of law and freedom of expression or freedom. press “, has counted.
Michel has regretted that this episode has “overshadowed” not only the “important geopolitical work” that has been carried out together with the Government of Turkey, but also that it has offered a wrong “impression” of him, as it is “an honor”. noted, “participate in this European project, of which two of the four main institutions are led by women.”
At the same time, he wanted to highlight that before this meeting with Erdogan, he had met with representatives of UN Women and that, “despite pressure to the contrary,” both he and Von der Leyen proposed to hold a joint press conference to address “without taboos “the content of the meeting with the Turkish authorities.