Italy's Draghi accuses 'dictator' Erdogan, draws Turkey's condemnation

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week and said it is important to be frank with 'dictators', drawing condemnation from Ankara. Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday

Reuters April 09, 2021 04:11:27 IST
Italy's Draghi accuses 'dictator' Erdogan, draws Turkey's condemnation

Italys Draghi accuses dictator Erdogan draws Turkeys condemnation

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week and said it is important to be frank with "dictators", drawing condemnation from Ankara.

Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday. The Commission chief was clearly taken aback when the two men sat on the only two chairs prepared, relegating her to an adjacent sofa.

"I absolutely do not agree with Erdogan's behavior towards President von der Leyen. ... I think it was not appropriate behavior and I was very sorry for the humiliation von der Leyen had to suffer," Draghi told reporters.

"With these, let's call them what they are - dictators - with whom one nonetheless has to coordinate, one has to be frank when expressing different visions and opinions," he added.

The Italian ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the foreign ministry over Draghi's comments, Turkey's state-owned Anadolu news agency reported, and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed the remarks.

"We strongly condemn the appointed Italian Prime Minister Draghi's unacceptable, populist discourse and his ugly and unrestrained comments about our elected president," Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.

Earlier on Thursday, Cavusoglu said that the seating at the meeting was arranged in line with the bloc's demands and international protocol and that Turkey was being subject to "unjust accusations".

(Reporting by Angelo Amante, Gavin Jones and Daren Butler in Istanbul; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Will Dunham)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.