European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso expressed his belief that being religious does not stand in the way of democracy, when asked on Thursday to comment on Abdullah Gül's presidency.
Speaking to the press shortly before leaving Paris, Barroso responded to a press member's question on "an ex-Islamist being elected the president," saying: "Having profound religious convictions should not be an obstacle to democracy." He said he hoped that President Gül would pursue the line of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government from the last term.
Barroso also responded to questions about statements made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who he met with the other day at the Elysee Palace regarding the European Union's future and Turkey's membership. Barroso said he was pleased with Sarkozy's recent statement to daily le Figaro, showing that he hadn't slammed the door in Turkey's face, though he was still opposed to Turkey's membership.
"Islamic or secular, we should not let down the democrats in Turkey," the commission's chief told journalists. Recalling that when the EU unanimously voted to start accession talks with Turkey in 2004 France was one of the active supporters of Turkey, Barroso said: "Political changes in one of the member nations should not question decisions make earlier unanimously. This is a problem of reliability."
Last Mod: 31 Ağustos 2007, 14:53