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Central Europe: Britain's Cook To Call For European Conference

  • Stuart Parrott



London, 26 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook will set out his ideas for a standing European Conference bringing together the 15 EU countries, the Central Europeans and Turkey during his visit to Central Europe that begins today in Budapest.

On one-day stopovers in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, Cook will explain that Britain supports the proposed European Conference as a step towards enlarging the EU.

On his three-day tour, Cook will strongly back the European Commission's proposals to begin membership negotiations initially with five Central European countries -- Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia -- as well as with Cyprus.

A British foreign spokesman earlier said: "We support the view of the European Commission that we should begin negotiations with those countries that have a realistic chance in years ahead of joining the EU."
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