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Europe

Zapatero, Schröder and Chirac to Meet Sept. 13

France, Germany and Spain will hold an informal meeting on Sept. 13, the Spanish government has announced.

"There will be no set agenda", said a Spanish government press release, according to the Associated Press. "They will discuss general questions of both European and international issues." Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has also invited Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder -- his French and German counterparts -- to dinner in Madrid. The meeting follows comments by Zapetero a month ago that his country should be alongside France and Germany as the "decisive countries for the European construction." Spanish authorities were quick to dismiss any speculation that the axis of power is shifting in Europe. "There is a Franco-German axis which is the motor of the EU and which meets regularly with its principal partners. This meeting is taking place in this context," said a government spokesman, quoted by France Deux. All three leaders were opposed to the US-led war in Iraq. (EUobserver.com)

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