Sarkozy Criticizes Turkey over Cyprus Issue

PARIS (Zaman)–French Interior Minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has now said Turkey must recognize Greek Cyprus to have a "privileged partnership" with the European Union. In Le Meilleur des Mondes, a magazine published by Europe’s 50 most prominent think tanks, Sarkozy suggested not making definite offers like full membership to countries between Europe and Asia and countries in the Mediterranean region. According to Sarkozy, when such countries are at issue, a "privileged partnership" should be offered first. This way, the union will be able to examine and monitor the difference in values. Sarkozy’s views on a "privileged partnership" follow: Allowing non member countries to participate in EU politics will encourage economic and social prosperity. The European Union can also strengthen cooperation in education. While urging that Turkey is a country that must have privileged partnership in the European Union, Sarkozy said, "We share many values and many security concerns with our friend and neighbor Turkey and these are sound reasons to strengthen our ties with Turkey before discussing full membership." No EU member country, including Greek Cyprus, can deny the union is comprised of 25 nations, Sarkozy said, referring to Turkey’s blockade on Greek Cypriot ships and planes. He also urged halting negotiations with Turkey until it began implementing agreemen’s with goodwill.

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