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EU Presidency Backs Membership for Turkey

The European Union under the rotating presidency of Slovenia says it will seek to move forward with accession talks with Turkey.

Speaking in the Slovenian capital, Prime Minister Janez Jansa told reporters Monday that he will seek the total support of all EU member-countries for expanded accession talks.

Turkey is an official candidate for EU membership. But its entry bid has roused opposition, most notably from France. President Nicolas Sarkozy has said repeatedly that largely-Muslim Turkey should be offered a privileged partnership rather than full membership.

The internationally recognized Greek-led government of Cyprus also opposes Turkish EU membership. Turkey has refused to open trade and travel links with the Cyprus government, as part of its ongoing territorial dispute over the divided island.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.