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A conversation with Prime Minister de Villepin of France 26 mars 2007

Posted by Acturca in France, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.

International Herald Tribune                                                     Türkçe

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin of France appeared on The Charlie Rose Show on March 15. Below is a partial transcript of the discussion on Turkey.

Charlie Rose: Speaking of Mr. Sarkozy again, who is now leading in the polls but only slightly — he is opposed of the admission of Turkey into the European Union. Your president is in favor of it over a longer, 12- to 15-year period. Where are you? And what’s your argument that Turkey ought to be part of Europe?

Dominique de Villepin: Well, I support very much that the position of the president, because I believe that…

Charlie Rose: And against Mr. Sarkozy.

Dominique de Villepin: Not against, because we came to an agreement, which is we go for the process. Turkey has the possibility of being in the procedure of entering in Europe…

Charlie Rose: Which is already part of NATO, has the largest army in NATO.

Dominique de Villepin: Exactly, but of course we are going to put Turkey under scrutiny and make sure that the right decision is taken by the Turks in order to be sure that the day they might be entering in Turkey, they really comply with what we consider as crucial for Europe.

The second thing, President Chirac said that any newcomer in Europe, we would have a referendum for the French people in order to decide whether they believe we should have this new country in Europe or not.

So I believe today, this is not a problem anymore because of the decision of Jacques Chirac.

Charlie Rose: But more than that…

Dominique de Villepin: He took the right decision, and everybody knows that this is not anymore a political problem.

Charlie Rose: Why did France vote against that European Union constitution?

Dominique de Villepin: Well, it’s very interesting to understand why. Why? Because for a too long period of time, Europe has been built without the cooperation of the citizens. The enlargement of Europe has been made without the leaders of Europe asking to the citizens of Europe.

At one point, the French said, well, what kind of Europe do we want? Do we want a Europe that is able to protect us through globalization? Do we want a Europe that goes along with our values, social values? Or do we want a Europe which is enlarged every time more and doesn’t solve our problems?

And I believe what the French did — and if other countries of Europe would have been asked through referendum, I believe the same answers would have been found, maybe in the United Kingdom or other countries — is to remind the leaders of Europe, Europe must be built for us. Europe should be an example in terms of social values and social systems.

Charlie Rose: But you also believe that it’s — if you do not accept Turkey into Europe, it will send the wrong message to the Muslim world. Do you not? If Turkey is denied access to the European Union, you believe it will send the wrong message or not?

Dominique de Villepin: No, no, I believe Turkey has always had — concerning the position of Turkey, we have a very specific position. Historical, a very specific position. So you should not create a block between Turkey and the rest of the world…

Charlie Rose: But can Turkey play a positive role in the relationship between the West and the Muslim community around the world?

Dominique de Villepin: Of course, of course. But problem is, having Turkey in Europe is something that we decided is a possibility. We are in the process of accepting Turkey, but not at any price. It should be done at the right moment, and Turkey must comply with all the obligation of Europe.

So what we need is a rule for the game, and I believe we have now this rule, and I think that the process is a good process.


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