Chirac Goes After Bush on Turkey
ISTANBUL, Turkey – French President Jacques Chirac (search) said Monday that President Bush went "too far" by saying the European Union should admit Turkey, and he added that Bush commenting on Turkish-EU relations was like a French leader commenting on U.S.-Mexican ties.
"If President Bush really said that in the way that I read, then not only did he go too far, but he went into territory that isn't his," Chirac said.
"It's a bit like if I told the United States how they should manage their relations with Mexico."
Bush met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (search) in Ankara before attending Monday's NATO summit in Istanbul, and he pledged to fight for Turkey's membership in the European Union (search).
In a speech Bush made in Ireland before traveling to Turkey, Bush said: "Turkey is a proud nation that successfully blends a European identity with the Islamic traditions."
"As Turkey meets the EU standards for membership, the European Union should begin talks that will lead to full membership for the Republic of Turkey," Bush said.