Sarko: Butt Out of Turkey's EU Bid, Obama

Franco-US relations sour over Turkey tiff
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 6, 2009 1:54 AM CDT

(Newser) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy put an end to Barack Obama's European honeymoon when the US leader pushed for Turkey's membership in the European Union, reports the Times of London. The move would signal that Muslims are "our friends, neighbors and partners," Obama suggested. Sarkozy, who opposes Turkey's membership, quickly rebuffed him, snapping:  "It is up to member states of the EU to decide."

Sarkozy prefers a restricted  partnership for Turkey, whose potential sway as a member because of its large population worries some nations. EU representatives are also concerned about Turkey's human rights record. The European Commission's president tried to patch up the leaders' disagreement by saying that the process to consider including Turkey began with a unanimous EU decision. "Of course we have to go on with the negotiations," he said.