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Sarkozy Urges Continued Ratification of EU Treaty, Despite Irish Rejection


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has urged European Union countries to continue ratification of the EU Treaty despite its rejection Thursday by Irish voters.

Mr. Sarkozy, whose country takes over the rotating EU presidency next month, said the Irish vote has created additional difficulty in the union's reform process, but stressed that this should not develop into a crisis. His comments were made at a joint Paris news conference with U.S. President George Bush.

Mr. Sarkozy called for a different approach to the building of Europe and listed efforts to deal with immigration and endless increases in fuel prices as high priorities.

A total of 53 percent of Irish voters said no to the treaty, which would reform Europe-wide institutions.

All 27 European Union countries must approve the treaty for it to take effect. Ireland is the only country required to put the issue to a referendum.

Eighteen EU countries have already approved the document, which is a simplified version of a draft EU constitution that Dutch and French voters rejected in 2005.