Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, mused why no one ever grilled him on the interactions with Saudi Arabia when discussing the “loathsome” regimes that have dealings with the EU.
The unprompted mention of the Middle-East power came after a question about whether he was comfortable dealing with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the latter’s crackdown on state workers following a failed military coup.
“The EU has links with regimes, some of which are loathsome. However, no one raises the question. We talk about Turkey, and we’re right to, but we never talk about Saudi Arabia,” Juncker noted in the interview with Euronews’ Isabelle Kumar on Friday.
The European Parliament in February called for an arms embargo against Riyadh over its bombing campaign in Yemen, but the Commission itself has remained largely neutral, calling on both sides to come to the negotiating table.