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In Ankara, European diplomacy stumbles on a chair

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Do not increase the European Union’s dependence on the Turkish partner, nor put interests of any kind ahead of human rights. Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, had a number of pitfalls to avoid when he met Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But a chair decided otherwise, succeeding in tarnishing the image of the EU and slashing the Belgian’s efforts to fashion himself a world leader’s hat.

In question? The protocol chosen by Turkey to welcome in front of the cameras these two officials, however of the same diplomatic rank. A protocol that seated Charles Michel alongside the Turkish President on two separate armchairs when Ms. Von der Leyen was invited to take a seat on a sofa in front of the Turkish Foreign Minister. If Ursula von der Leyen expressed her surprise, her only response was the silence of Charles Michel, already installed.

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