Gaffe As EU's Ursula Von Der Leyen Is Left Without A Chair At Meeting With Erdogan

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Gaffe As EU's Ursula Von Der Leyen Is Left Without A Chair At Meeting With Erdogan

There has been a diplomatic gaffe and widespread embarrassment after the European commission's first female president Ursula von der Leyen was left without a chair at a meeting between the EU's two presidents and Turkish leader Recep Erdogan.

The meeting was to address gender-based violence and Turkish withdrawal from the treaty and took part in Istanbul, Turkey's capital.

On entering the room, it was seen that von der Leyen was left without a seat and none of the men sitting down offered to stand-up. She then had to take a seat on a nearby sofa. The meeting lasted 3 hours.

She muttered "ehm" as she noticed there were no seats for her to take.

A spokesperson for von der Leyen said:

"The president of the commission was clearly surprised and that is something you can see from the video … The protocol level of our president is exactly the same as that of the president of the European council. Our president is a member of the European council in her own right and normally when she goes to foreign countries she was treated in exactly the same way as the president of the European council. The president expects that the institution that she represents to be treated with the required protocol and she has therefore asked her team to take all appropriate contacts in order to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future".

They added:

"The president's assertiveness was clearly on display in that she did not walk away from the meeting, she took part in the meeting, and played her full role."

Iratxe García Pérez, a Spanish MEP, tweeted:

"First they withdraw from the Istanbul convention and now they leave the president of European commission without a seat in an official visit. Shameful."

Charles Michel, one of the EU Presidents said afterwards:

"I am therefore sorry for two reasons. First, by the impression given that I would have been indifferent to the protocol awkwardness vis-à-vis Ursula. All the more so since I am honoured to participate in this European project, of which two major institutions out of four are headed by women, Ursula von der Leyen and Christine Lagarde. And also proud that a woman, the first in history, succeeded me as Prime Minister of Belgium. Finally, I am saddened, because this situation has overshadowed the major and beneficial geopolitical work that we carried out together in Ankara, and of which I hope that Europe will reap the fruits."

[h/t: The Guardian]

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Thinking Humanity: Gaffe As EU's Ursula Von Der Leyen Is Left Without A Chair At Meeting With Erdogan
Gaffe As EU's Ursula Von Der Leyen Is Left Without A Chair At Meeting With Erdogan
There has been a diplomatic gaffe and widespread embarrassment after the European commission's first female president Ursula von der Leyen was left wi
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