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Sarkozy: must push forward with Lisbon Treaty

On a visit to Prague, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated in a press conference that one of France's priorities when it takes over the EU presidency in July will be to push forward the Lisbon Treaty "calmly but seriously."

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Prague Monday for talks on the future of the crisis-hit EU reform treaty rejected by Irish voters, ahead of France's EU presidency starting next month.

Sarkozy was scheduled to meet with Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek plus the heads of government of several neighbouring countries -- Robert Fico of Slovakia, Donald Tusk of Poland and Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary.

The visit had been planned as a regular summit to outline plans for the French presidency, but is now coloured by the Irish referendum which has cast the bloc into turmoil.

EU foreign ministers were meanwhile meeting in Luxembourg amid gloomy predictions for the treaty's future.

Topolanek has not said whether the Czech Republic will move to ratify the text but he is under pressure from eurosceptics within his party to scrap it.

The Czech Republic will take over the EU's rotating presidency from France in January.
  

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