The French President Nicolas Sarkozy spent a few hours in Turkey and repeated his opposition to its joining the European Union.
Alongside Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul, Sarkozy reaffirmed his preference for a privileged partnership instead of full membership, an option Ankara vehemently opposes.
Talks on Turkey’s accession to the EU are already at a standstill.
Ali Ihsan Aydin from the euronews Turkish service asked: “The EU, and therefore France, has signed an agreement for talks on Turkey’s EU accession. Doesn’t your stance against it lower French and European credibility?”
Sarkozy replied: “I think between full accession and association — which the Turks have said several times that they didn’t want — there’s a balance that could be found if we address the question in peace and vision.”
Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had promised to take Sarkozy to task for his opposition to Ankara’s attempts to join the EU though there was no visible tension when the two men met later in the day.
Sarkozy reaffirms opposition to Turkey's EU membership