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French interior minister joins call for EU expansion halt after constitution crisis

[JURIST] French interior minister Nicolas Sarcozy [BBC profile] said Monday that the European Union should suspend any further enlargement [EU overview] given the strong rejection of the European Constitution [JURIST news archive] by French and Dutch voters. The statement was understood to be directed mostly at Turkey as Sarcozy added that Bulgaria and Romania should be allowed to join because of the progress made in including them already. Sarcozy's comments come in the wake of a similar statement by EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner [JURIST report] some two weeks ago. French President Jacques Chirac has said that the EU must follow through with its decision to start the entry process with Turkey. British Prime Minister Tony Blair also backed the inclusion [10 Downing Street press release] of Turkey in a recent press conference, but stressed that admission criteria are "absolute and must be met in full." Reuters has more.

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