US destroying secular Middle East: Le Pen

2nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

LIMASSOL, Cyprus, Nov 1 (AFP) - France's extreme right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen on Tuesday accused the United States of working to destroy secular regimes in the Middle East, including those of Iraq and Syria.

LIMASSOL, Cyprus, Nov 1 (AFP) - France's extreme right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen on Tuesday accused the United States of working to destroy secular regimes in the Middle East, including those of Iraq and Syria.

At a news conference in the Greek Cypriot port city of Limassol on the divided island of Cyprus, the leader of the National Front party reiterated his opposition to Turkey's entry into the European Union.

Le Pen rejected the argument that Turkey was heading for a more secular stance, saying: "I say this is false. Turkey is on the path of re-Islamisation".

He added: "In reality it is the Americans who want Turkey to enter the European Union, yet it is they (the US) who have destroyed all the secular regimes in the Middle East."

He cited as examples the secular regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and said Washington now wanted to do the same with Syria.

American policy was aimed at getting the Muslim world to excuse its unconditional support for Israel, he said.

Deploring that Europe today had become a clone of the Americans, Le Pen said: "It is evident ... that the Turkish people are not a European people, neither through geography, history or culture. Europe can only be made up of European countries."

Outside the hotel where Le Pen was speaking, a few dozen Cypriot protestors chanted: "Hitler, Le Pen, Never Again".

Visibly stung by the chants which penetrated the conference, the National Front leader riposted: "These young people should be told to go and demonstrate in Ankara.

"I was one of the youngest members of the French resistance ... I do not take lessons about anything over the struggle against the Germans," said Le Pen, who on Sunday visited the Turkish-Cypriot held north of Cyprus.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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