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EU, Japan postpone summit over Cyprus crisis

Published on Mar 23, 2013 11:49 AM

BRUSSELS (AFP) - European Union leaders have announced the indefinite postponement of a key summit, with Japan intended to launch crucial free trade negotiations next week because of the mounting debt crisis in bankruptcy-threatened Cyprus.

"It is with regret that we have decided to postpone next week's EU-Japan summit," EU Council and Commission heads Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso said in a surprise statement late on Friday.

"The ongoing efforts to find a solution for the financial situation of Cyprus require our presence in Brussels," the pair said, as three separate sources confirmed the staging of a face-to-face meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Sunday in Brussels.

"We reiterate the importance of EU-Japan strategic relations and would like to thank Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe for expressing his understanding."

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