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Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 02:39 GMT 03:39 UK

World: Europe

France supports Romanian EU membership

President Jacques Chirac of France has said he will press for the early admission of Romania to the European Union.

Mr Chirac told his visiting Romanian counterpart, Emil Constantinescu, that he would raise the issue during the EU Helsinki summit in December.

He said it was imperative for Romania not to be marginalised, and also for Europe not to develop new schisms. Mr Chirac praised Romania's decision to allow NATO to use Romanian airspace during the Kosovo conflict, describing it as a responsible and courageous policy.

Later today, Mr Constantinescu is due to meet the French prime minister, Lionel Jospin.

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