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German, French Leaders Discuss EU Constitution

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac have met in Berlin to discuss the crisis surrounding the European Union's constitution.

Both leaders have called for the ratification process to continue, despite votes in France and the Netherlands earlier this week rejecting the constitution. The two met Saturday as EU leaders prepare to meet in Brussels on June 16 and 17.

Mr. Chirac and Mr. Schroeder have been close allies in the European Union, but both have been weakened in recent weeks. Sunday's referendum defeat prompted Mr. Chirac to reshuffle his government.

Germany's upper house of parliament ratified the EU constitution last week, but Mr. Schroeder's ruling party suffered a critical state election loss, prompting him to call national elections for this fall, one year early.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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