Sarkozy remains opposed to Turkey's EU entry

16th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Non 16 (AFP) - French Finance Minister and future ruling party chief Nicolas Sarkozy repeated his opposition to Turkish membership of the EU Tuesday, saying a decision next month from heads of government should focus instead on "partnership."

BRUSSELS, Non 16 (AFP) - French Finance Minister and future ruling party chief Nicolas Sarkozy repeated his opposition to Turkish membership of the EU Tuesday, saying a decision next month from heads of government should focus instead on "partnership."

"On December 17 the perspective of partnership must feature in the decision of the council of ministers," Sarkozy told French journalists in Brussels.

The 25 leaders are to decide whether to start accession talks with Ankara, as recommended in a recent statement by the EU's executive body the Commission.

Sarkozy, who steps down as minister later this month to head President Jacques Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), said he opposes Turkish entry "not because it is a Muslim country but because Europe must concentrate on the enlargement which has already taken place."

His opposition to Turkish EU membership has put him at odds with Chirac, who has said its eventual accession is inevitable.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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