Harper and Merkel to have free flowing lakeside dinner chat on trade, economy - InfoNews

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Harper and Merkel to have free flowing lakeside dinner chat on trade, economy

Harper and Merkel to have free flowing lakeside dinner chat on trade, economy
August 14, 2012 - 5:05 PM

OTTAWA - German officials say Chancellor Angela Merkel will steer clear of endorsing Canada's bid for a free trade pact with the European Union when she meets this week with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

With negotiations for the coveted deal about to enter a final round, they say the cautious German leader doesn't want to risk compromising progress with ill-timed public pronouncements.

Harper wants a deal struck by the end of the year.

The prime minister has described the EU trade talks as progressing well, and they're expected to be a topic of discussion when he hosts Merkel for two days starting Wednesday night.

Merkel kicks off her first bilateral visit to Canada with a private dinner at the prime minister's Harrington Lake retreat in Gatineau, Que.

It will be followed by a more formal meeting Thursday morning in Harper's Parliament Hill office, including a welcome from a full military honour guard.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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