The European Union should press on with efforts to extend membership to Turkey even if France votes No in its forthcoming referendum on the EU's constitutional treaty, according to Gianfranco Fini, Italy's foreign minister.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Fini described himself as "rather optimistic" that the Yes camp would win the French referendum, but said that even a No vote should not deter the EU from embracing Turkey.
"Politically speaking, this would be difficult," Mr Fini said, alluding to the widespread opposition in France to Turkish EU membership. "But Italy is a supporter of Turkey's accession.
"In order to join, Turkey has made radical changes, including in terms of human rights.
(Read the rest of the article on the Financial Times)