Portugal rejects French proposal

Portugal, due to take over the presidency of the European Union at the weekend, presented on Thursday their priorities for the next six months and rejected a French suggestion of a debate in December on Turkey's accession talks.

Portugal rejects French proposal
Portugal, due to take over the presidency of the European Union at the weekend, presented on Thursday the priorities of Portugal for the next six months.

The Portuguese Secretary of State, Manuel Lobo Antunes, explained that the first goal will be to negotiate the new Treaty for the European Union and to get a result during their presidency.

He also said that they will organise two summits to strengthen the lies between the EU and Africa, and also between the EU and Brazil.

In relation with the enlargement to Turkey, Lobo Antunes affirmed that the goal of negotiations is membership.

Portugal doesn't agree with the French proposal of opening a debate by December.

Manuel Lobo Antunes said, "We have a mandate but let me stress that we don't yet have a Treaty. This will be our priority task for the next 6 months and we wish to conclude this as rapidly as possible. It is essential because the Union requires this instrument to face new challenges but also to let space for the other priorities of the Union."

The Portuguese Secretary of State added, I don't expect any question to be open because the mandate is clear, is detailed, is unambiguous. I don't see why we should reopen issues, to be honest." Antunes stated, "No Presidency can stop any member state from raising a particular issue that they think is important. And France has every right and prerogative to propose to discuss enlargement, borders and Turkey. Obviously we have to say our view as we are the Presidency, and our view is that we believe that at this stage we should be concentrating on the Treaty and trying to find a solution in line with the mandate of the European Council by December."

The Portuguese Secretary of State said, "I regret that we have had to wait for 7 years and another Portuguese Presidency to promote high level dialogue with Africa. That demonstrate the European indifference towards Africa. Others however are not waiting and benefit from European apathy."

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Last Mod: 29 Haziran 2007, 09:30
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