Hollande vows to revive France-Turkey relations

Hollande vows to revive France-Turkey relations

The leading candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections signaled Feb. 12 he would rehabilitate relations with Turkey if elected.

Pierre Moscovici, head of François Hollande’s presidential campaign, expected to be the new foreign minister after the elections, told reporters a new Socialist administration would end Nicolas Sarkozy’s “scapegoat” policies toward Turkey. Moscovici said it was important to be fair about Turkey’s strategic role and ongoing Turkey-European Union negotiations and they would not ignore the fact that Turkey-EU negotiations had been going on for a decade.

Hollande also accused Sarkozy on Feb. 12 of moving farther to the right in an attempt to win over supporters of National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

Sarkozy, who is expected to announce his candidacy for a second term early next week, insisted on official limits to immigration in an interview with Le Figaro magazine. The interview was published just days after one of his top ministers stirred up a political storm by saying that “all civilizations were not equal.”

“The terms that have been used, the words he has used, really make one think he wants to go looking for the voters who today are leaning toward Marine Le Pen,” said Hollande.

“This is undoubtedly part of his strategy, but it’s bad for society,” he added in an interview with television station Canal Plus. “The role of a president, right to the end, even as a candidate, is to unite the country, to raise its spirits and not to stigmatize people, or play on their fears.”