The head of the European Council Charles Michel said he was "very sorry" for what happened in Ankara, where during the meeting of representatives of EU institutions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan there was no chair for the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
"I have already expressed my appreciation to Mrs. von der Leyen and to all the women. I can assure you that since then I have not slept well at night and have replayed the incident dozens of times in my head. I take part of my responsibility," Michel stated.
As he added, unfortunately, this issue overshadowed the essence of the meeting with President Erdogan and, at this point, the Union's ability to show unity.
Michel, explaining why he did not sit on the sofa next to the head of the European Commission, but next to Erdogan, noted that he had a few seconds to decide what to do.
"I had the impression that a possible reaction would call into question the long diplomatic work that preceded our visit. Besides, I did not want to be paternalistic towards Mrs. von der Leyen. But I respect opposing opinions and understand the criticism directed at me," Charles Michel noted.