Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi today regretted “the humiliation” suffered by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but assured that it is necessary to cooperate with “dictators” like him.
“I do not share in any way Erdogan’s sharing with President von der Leyen. I have regretted it very much for the humiliation she has had to suffer,” Draghi said at a press conference in Rome.
Draghi explained that the underlying debate is the collaboration of democratic countries with dictators to defend their interests, and among these he included Erdogan.
“As I have said in other press conferences, we have to consider that we have to cooperate with these dictators, let’s call them what they are,” said Draghi, who insisted that “you have to be frank in expressing views,” but you also need to be prepared to cooperate, “you have to find the right balance.”
The incident occurred in Ankara when Von der Leyen was relegated to a side sofa during the meeting held on the 6th with the Turkish leader, while he and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, sat in two chairs in the center of the meeting room.