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Europe's new co-op group prepares ground for summer summit

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/05/2017

WARSAW, Poland — A young initiative to integrate central and east European countries will help strengthen and unify all of the European Union, an aide to Poland's president said Thursday.

Andrzej Szczerski spoke to reporters during a meeting of foreign policy advisers to the presidents of the 12 nations that last year launched the so-called Three Seas Initiative, which refers to the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea. The meeting is hammering out the program of the group's summit scheduled in July in Wroclaw, Poland.

President Donald Trump has been invited.

While Europe's east-west integration is well developed, the continent needs closer ties between its north and its south to help overcome differences in their development, he said.

The group aims to develop transport, energy, telecommunications and environment ties between nations in the region. Its aims include strengthening the EU's north-south integration and helping the region secure independence from Russian energy resources.

The members are Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Austria.

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