Charles Michel says he “didn’t see” Von Der Leyen’s rudeness


  • Ugandan Foreign Minister skipped greeting European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last Thursday

The President of the European Council, Charles Michael, says he “did not see” how Ugandan Foreign Minister Haji Abubakhar Jeje Odongo skipped the protocol greeting to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a summit between the EU and the African Union last Thursday in Brussels. In fact, the Ugandan representative only said a few words to the president when the French president, Emanuel Macron, made him see his forgetfulness.

In the greetings of welcome, Odongo passed in front of Von der Leyen and he went straight to shake hands with Michel and Emmanuel Macron, who was also the host when his country presided over the Council of the European Union this semester. At that time, Macron called the Ugandan minister’s attention to the fact that he had not greeted German politics, thus avoiding a rudeness. while Michel did not express any reaction. Odongo then limited himself to exchanging a few brief words with her from a distance, and then posing for the protocol photograph.

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Charles Michel’s communication adviser, Jurek Kuczkiewicz, has justified the behavior of the president of the European Council in an interview with the French-speaking network RTL. He has explained that Michel asked Macron what had happened, and he explained it to him. “President Charles Michel simply did not see that the minister had walked past Mrs. von der Leyen,” he said. “If it were shown, I don’t know how, that it is misogyny, evidently everyone would condemn it, it is totally evident“, has added.

This protocol incident has caused a stir on social networks and has reminded the one that left Von der Leyen last year, in the background during a visit to Ankara with Michel, when the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the European Council sat on two chairs in the center of the room, while the German was relegated to a side sofa. The reactions then generated by Michel’s passivity they forced him to apologize solemnly later before the president of the European Commission.


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