Sarkozy says willing to back Turkey-EU talks

French President Sarkozy, softening his opposition to Turkish accession to the EU, said for the first time he'd be willing to discuss terms for the nation's membership in the 27-nation bloc.

Sarkozy says willing to back Turkey-EU talks
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, softening his opposition to Turkish accession to the European Union, said for the first time he'd be willing to discuss terms for the nation's membership in the 27-nation bloc.

Sarkozy said his agreement to negotiations would require the EU to establish a panel of ``wise men'' to study the future of Europe.

``If the 27 undertake this discussion about the future of the EU, France won't object to opening new chapters in the negotiations between the Union and Turkey in coming months and years,'' Sarkozy told French ambassadors in a speech today in Paris.

Sarkozy who was elected on May 6, made opposition to letting Turkey into the EU a key foreign-policy plank during his campaign. In June, France blocked the start of EU talks with Turkey on economic and monetary affairs.

In the foreign policy speech today, Sarkozy called on the U.S. to show leadership in protecting the environment; criticized Russia for what he termed the ``brutal'' use of its oil and gas assets in diplomacy; backed a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq; and said Iranian possession of nuclear weapons was ``unacceptable.''

The French president also backed broadening the United Nations Security Council's permanent membership and expanding the Group of Eight industrial nations that set global economy policy to include China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa.

Bloomberg

Last Mod: 28 Ağustos 2007, 12:23
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