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Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK

World: Europe

EU aspirants seek negotiation deadline

The six countries negotiating to join the European Union have called on Brussels to set a date for the conclusion of the talks.

Foreign ministers of the six, meeting in Estonia, said a date was essential if the momentum of the negotiations was to be maintained.

The ministers -- from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia -- said they believed the talks should be completed by the end of next year -- or by two-thousand-and-one at the very latest.

It was the first meeting of the six applicants to discuss problems in the accession talks. They're to meet again next spring in Slovenia.

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