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France wants EU to take more strict position with Turkey
2005-11-03 16:27:25

Paris, Nov 3 -- France believes that the European Union should undertake a more strict position regarding the Cyprus issue now that Turkey begins accession negotiations with the Union, President of the French Senate Christian Poncelet said today.

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who began an official visit to France today.

Mr. Poncelet, who held an hour long meeting with the President, underlined that Turkey can not enter the EU without having solved the Cyprus issue.

''Regarding the negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the EU, we believe that the EU should undertake a more strict position regarding the Cyprus issue. From the beginning we thought that the solution of the Cyprus problem should be a precondition for the beginning of Turkey’s accession negotiations”, he said.

''We have supported the accession of Cyprus to the EU and we have always been in favour of the reunification of the island,” added Mr. Poncelet.

The French official also said that if in ten years from now, the possibility of Turkey entering the EU is acknowledged, then this will not mean recognition of the occupation of the northern part of the island.

The Cypriot President and his entourage, who arrived in Paris earlier today, were welcomed at the airport during a red carpet ceremony, by French Minister Delegate for European Affairs Catherine Colonna.

President Papadopoulos also met today with President of the National Assembly Jean-Louis Debre.

Tomorrow he will have an official meeting with French President Jacques Chirac, after which the two Presidents will make statements to the press.

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