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armenpress: TURKEY NOT READY TO JOIN EU, FRANCES´ PRESIDENT SAYS

PARIS, APRIL 29, ARMENPRESS: French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that Turkey’s entry into the European Union, which is set to expand to 25 members this week, is not “desirable” now but could be in the future.

Chirac, speaking at his first full-fledged news conference in six years, said Turkey had not yet met the conditions for entry into the EU. He pointed to concern about issues ranging from human rights to judicial reform. “The destiny of Turkey has always been deeply linked to Europe,” Chirac said. “Turkey has made considerable efforts,” but has a way to go, he said.

In response to a question whether Turkey’s formal recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 would eliminate some of these obstacles, Chirac said the question lies within Turkish-Armenian relations. “I am deeply satisfied with ongoing positive changes in Turkish-Armenian relations. It would be incorrect to judge about future prospects of these relations in the light of the past,” he said.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in 1987 linking Turkey’s membership with the EU to its official acknowledgment of the 1915 genocide.

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