French Minister Addresses Precondition to Turkey EU Entry

PARIS (Combined Sources)–Armenia’s National Assembly Chairman Arthur Baghdasarian met with a representative of France’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Renaud Muselier–on the sidelines of a meeting of South Caucasus Parliament heads in Paris.

Baghdasarian and Muselier’s representative discussed Armenia-France relations–as well as recent developmen’s in France concerning Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union.

Though French President Jacques Chirac has indicated his support for a start to talks with Turkey–many in his ruling party–the opposition–and the general French public are against Turkey’s EU membership.

Asked about Muselier’s position–his representative revealed the minister believes Turkey must first recognize the genocide of Armenia’s before entry into the EU.

Just last week–France’s Armenian community said it would appeal to President Chirac to prevent negotiations on Turkish membership into the EU until Turkey acknowledged responsibility for its 1915 genocide of Armenia’s.

In January 2001–the French parliament passed legislation recognizing the Armenian genocide. In the aftermath of that decision–relations with Turkey became strained.

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