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UN spokesman: Juncker was sober as a judge in Geneva (Update 2)

Unficyp spokesman Aleem Siddique with Jean-Claude Juncker in Geneva

The UN spokesman in Cyprus hit back at claims in the British tabloid, The Sun on Friday that President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker was drunk at Geneva’s international conference on Cyprus.,

Unficyp spokesman Aleem Siddique, who posted a photograph with Juncker and suggested the reports carried by The Sun and the Daily Mail were “hatchet jobs”.

“That time I met Jean-Claude Juncker,” Siddique wrote with the photo.

“Don’t believe the Sun or the Daily Mail stories today, it’s a pure hatchet job in revenge for the leaked transcript of the dinner he had with [Theresa] May. He was sober as a judge at the Cyprus Peace Talks [in Geneva], during working hours anyway.”

Siddique said later he was speaking on a personal capacity and not on behalf of the UN.

Under the headline “Jean-Claude Drunker? EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker ‘very visibly drunk’ at major UN summit in Geneva”, the paper cited unnamed diplomatic sources who claimed Juncker’s erratic behaviour “included collisions with people and furniture, and being very familiar with junior aides”.

“It was odd behaviour, and a little bit embarrassing for everyone,” a diplomatic source cited by The Sun said.

Juncker has been in the midst of increasingly awkward talks on Brexit with British Premier Teresa May.

The Sun went as far as asking Juncker’s office for comment.

“We understand that the British press is in campaign mode but we will not dignify such insulting allegations with a comment,” a spokesman was reported as saying.

The Sun cited a former senior aide to May’s predecessor David Cameron as saying that any meeting with Juncker had to be arranged before lunch, “otherwise, they were not necessarily worth it”.

The tabloid followed up its Juncker-bashing report with another piece, entitled “Do EU drink too much? Is Jean-Claude Juncker an alcoholic? As Europe president denies allegations of a drinking problem, we take a look at the signs”, in which it attempted to diagnose Juncker’s alleged drinking problem.

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