US President Barack Obama threw his backing Sunday behind Turkey's bid to join the European Union before being slapped down by French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy for intervening in the bloc's affairs. Obama, due to fly to Turkey on Sunday night after attending an EU-US summit here, said that Turkey's membership of the 27-nation bloc would firmly wrap the mainly Muslim nation into the Western fold. "The United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbours and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and violence," Obama said in his address to European Union leaders at a summit in Prague. "Moving forward towards Turkish membership in the EU would be an important signal of your commitment to this agenda and ensure that we continue to anchor Turkey firmly in Europe," he added. The US has long supported Turkey's efforts to become a member of the EU which have made slow progress in the last four years.