- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) - President Barack Obama says Turkish membership in the European Union would “broaden and strengthen” Europe’s foundation.

Speaking Monday to the Turkish Parliament, Obama reiterated U.S. support of Turkey’s bid to be a member of the economic alliance.

Turkish membership is being met with skepticism from heavy-hitters in the EU. Following Obama’s remarks on the topic Sunday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE’) said the decision was the EU’s to make, not Washington’s.

Obama said Monday the U.S. isn’t speaking as a member of the EU, but as “close friends of Turkey and Europe.”

He says Turkey is bound to Europe by “more than bridges over the Bosporus.”

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