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05 10 2007 - Hurriyet- French FM in Ankara re EU and Armenian Claim

French FM Kouchner arrives in Ankara tomorrow for talks on EU, Armenian claims French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is set to arrive in Ankara tomorrow for talks aimed at clarifying France's stance on Armenian claims of genocide, as well as the French position on Turkey's quest for EU accession.

Kouchner's visit to the Turkish capital will be the first high level Turkish-French meeting since last week's talks between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Nicholas Sarkozy in New York. An official from the French Embassy in Ankara noted that the visit by Kouchner would be brief but helpful, commenting "Kouchner is coming to help construct an energetic relationship with Foreign Minister Babacan."

The same official noted: "We are prepared to warm relations with Turkey, and to open up channels of communication. This visit is a signal that the dialogue between the two countries is getting better. Sarkozy is maintaining his position on Turkey. But he also wants reforms to continue in Turkey, and he will not interfere in this.....When the reforms are complete, it will be time for France to make some decisions."

Annette Melikian

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