France’s Sarkozy Calls for EU ‘Partnership’ with Turkey

BRUSSELS (AFP)–French finance minister and future ruling party chief Nicolas Sarkozy–has repeated his opposition to Turkish membership to the EU–saying a decision next month from heads of government should focus instead on ‘partnership.’

Sarkozy–who steps down as minister later this month to head French 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.’

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

Sarkozy’s opposition to Turkish EU membership has put him at odds with Chirac–who has said the country’s eventual accession is inevitable.

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