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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Chirac lambasts Bush on Turkey
George W Bush and Jacques Chirac (in foreground) at the Nato summit
Mr Chirac (in foreground) remains opposed to the US role in Iraq
French President Jacques Chirac has complained about US President Bush's support for Turkish EU membership.

Mr Chirac said George Bush had gone too far by saying Turkey should get a date for acceptance into the EU.

He said Mr Bush's remarks were like Mr Chirac telling the US how to manage relations with Mexico.

Correspondents say US-French friction remains, despite attempts to heal relations after the Iraq war, which France bitterly opposed.

'Not his concern'

On Sunday Mr Bush praised Turkey as a model Muslim democracy, and a country which embraced the rule of law and freedom.

"I will remind the people of this good country that you ought to be given a date by the EU for your eventual acceptance into the EU," he said on a trip to Ankara ahead of the Nato summit in Istanbul.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Mr Chirac said this was none of Mr Bush's business.

"Not only did he go too far, he ventured into territory which is not his concern," he said.

Mr Chirac has in the past said he backs Turkish EU membership in principle if Ankara fulfils its conditions.

Turkey is keen to start membership talks, and argues that it has already met most of the criteria.




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