September 10, 2006

France's Interior Minister Says " NO " To Turkey's Admittance To European Union

(Brussels; 09.08.2006) During a speech on September 8th at the Brussels based Friends Of Europe think-tank, Mr. Nicolas Sargozy, France's Interior Minister, stated that current membership talks with Turkey should be suspended.

Sargozy, a leading contender for the French presidency in elections next spring, was in Brussels to introduce his reform package for the European Union. A major issue facing the E.U. has been how many member states it should include and who they should be. Mr. Sargozy has always recommended limiting potential new members to Europe proper.

Thus, on the issue of Turkey's proposed membership he stated, " Turkey is our neighbor and our friend. We have to reinforce our links with her, but without going to full accession'. He also added that, " We should now say who is European and who isn't".

Opinion polls show that the French public are overwhelmingly opposed to Turkish membership in the E.U. Many observers thus feel that Mr. Sargozy's remarks regarding Turkey were directed more at French voters than European Union members.


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