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Turkish FM says He Expects French Fairness in Upcoming EU Talks


Turkey says it expects France - a vocal opponent of Turkey's push to join the European Union - to treat its EU entry negotiations fairly when France assumes the rotating EU presidency next month.

France takes over the presidency July 1, during which time it will lead negotiations with the Ankara government.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Tuesday he believes his government's EU entry process will move forward during the six-month French presidency, and that the EU will host impartial talks.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has voiced opposition to Turkey's long-sought entry into the 27-nation bloc, and French diplomats have been accused of stalling bilateral talks in five policy areas.

Mr. Sarkozy has suggested the Ankara government be granted a special EU partnership rather than full membership, citing the perception Muslim Turkey is slow to enact political reforms demanded of EU members.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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