Paris suggest Turkey-EU partnership instead of membership
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Friday again said Paris opposes full European Union membership for Turkey and instead suggested it form a "privileged partnership" with the bloc.
Speaking in Cyprus, Fillon told local television after a meeting with Cyprus' President Dimitris Christofias that France could not accept the EU membership of a country with troops in another member country.
With newly-elected Christofias in office, expectations are running high for a breakthrough in peace efforts to reunite the Mediterranean island which has been divided since 1974 after Turkey invaded the northern third of the island in response to an Athens-led coup to reunite the island with Greece.
Fillon said France would use its position on the United Nations Security Council to work for a reunification of the island.
UN attempts to reunify the island have repeatedly stalled. The latest in 2004 when former president Tassos Papadopoulos led the Greek Cypriot rejection of a UN reunification plan in a referendum - although Turkish Cypriots overwhelmingly voted in favour.
The two divided sides of Cyprus have agreed in principle to rejoin the island as a bizonal federation, but until now have not been able to agree on how it will be carried out.
Only the southern part of Cyprus is recognized internationally and has been an EU member since 2004, dpa reported.