EU leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen speak personally again on Monday afternoon at 5 p.m., for the first time since their painful meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdogan a week ago in Ankara. The Committee spokesman confirms that the Presidents of the European Council of Heads of Government and the European Commission are discussing the affair called sofagate in Brussels, in order to prevent such diplomatic slippage abroad from appearing again in the future.
During the visit to the Presidential Palace, Von der Leyen had to sit on a sofa while for Michel and Erdogan two special chairs were waiting next to each other. The visibly disgrunted committee chairman asked for attention in vain, but her travel companion Michel was silent. On an earlier visit by the predecessors of both EU leaders to Erdogan, President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker were treated equally.
Erdogan was accused of sexism from various sides, while Michels non-intervention in and outside Brussels was subjected to severe criticism. The Belgian former Prime Minister said this weekend that he had not slept well from it for days in several newspapers.
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According to her spokesman, a conversation between Von der Leyen and Michel about the affair could not take place earlier because she was with her family in Germany. The consultations include the organisation of future foreign missions, he said.