The love-in between Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama proved short-lived after the French President warned his US counterpart yesterday to keep his nose out of the issue of Turkeyâ€™s membership of the European Union.
President Obama used his first EU-US summit, on the eve of his visit to Turkey, to encourage European leaders to embrace the Muslim country and â€œanchor it in Europeâ€. However, Mr Sarkozy, a long-standing opponent of full membership for Turkey, rebuffed the US leader in language that seemed to sour the revival of Franco-US relations.â€œI have been working hand in hand with President Obama but when it comes to the European Union it is up to member states of the European Union to decide [on membership],â€ Mr Sarkozy said in an interview on French television. â€œI have always been opposed to this entry and I remain opposed,â€ he added.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...SS&attr=797093His comments laid bare the continuing EU split over Turkish membership, with France and Austria openly opposed and deep reservations in Germany and the Netherlands. Turkey would become the most populous EU country and Germany in particular is said to have concerns about the shift in power that this would cause, with the largest number of MEPs coming from Turkey, along with strong voting rights in European Council decisions.