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Sarkozy sees key role for Europe

EU

Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a strong Europe to rebuild a more harmonious world order, in his first foreign policy speech as French president.

Sarkozy said he remained opposed to Turkey’s EU membership bid, but that he would not block further negotiations. The emergence of a “strong Europe as a major player” internationally would help “rebuild a more efficient, fair and harmonious world order,” he said. He said the EU needed strong defense, immigration and environment policies.

A committee of 10 experts should be established to consider what the EU’s mission should be in future and where its geographical borders should end, he said, addressing French ambassadors. “The wise men should submit their conclusions and suggestions ahead of the European elections of June 2009.” Referring to Turkey’s EU membership bid, he said: “I’m not going to be hypocritical. Everyone knows I’m only in favor of association.”

Turning to Iraq, he called for “a clear timetable concerning the withdrawal of foreign troops” and said a political solution required a „sincere national reconciliation process” engaging all Iraqis. Sarkozy said he was determined to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. France would “spare no effort to convince Iran that it has much to gain by engaging in serious negotiations with the Europeans, the Americans, the Chinese and the Russians,” he said.

He also said the G8 grouping of industrialized powers should “become the G13,” expanding to include China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. There should be more permanent members of the UN Security Council, Sarkozy said. “France demands new permanent members - Germany, Japan, India, Brazil - and fair representation for Africa.” (bbc.news)

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