Sarkozy Seeks Greater World Role for EU

France's leader says the bloc must assert itself as a "first-rank" global player and calls the West's relations with Islam the big issue

As France prepares to assume the EU's driving seat in July next year, president Nicolas Sarkozy has indicated he wants to turn the 27-nation bloc into a decisive player in the global arena -- something he says would result in a fairer and more harmonious world order.

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