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Ankara Sees Hope For Improved Ties With France

Turkish President Abdullah Gul

Turkish President Abdullah Gul

President Abdullah Gul says he's confident Turkey's ties with France will improve rapidly under new President Francois Hollande.

Gul met with Hollande late on May 21 on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Chicago.

He later told Turkish reporters that Hollande had promised to open a "new page" in relations between the two NATO allies.

Relations between France and Turkey, strained over French objections to Turkey joining the European Union, hit a new low this year when former French President Nicolas Sarkozy attempted to introduce a law making it a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey amounted to genocide.

Turkey denies that any genocide occurred during the World War I period.

The law was eventually ruled unconstitutional by France's top court on grounds it violated freedom of expression.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP