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EU Leaders Open Brussels Summit


European Union leaders have opened a two-day summit focusing on landmark strategies for fighting global warming and protecting European energy supplies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, is seeking support for proposals to slash carbon emissions across Europe by 20 percent over the next 13 years. She has offered a 30 percent reduction if other industrialized nations follow suit.

The EU leaders are expected to debate just how individual members can meet those goals.

Ms. Merkel warned of "tough negotiations" as she arrived Thursday evening to chair the Brussels summit.

In her summit invitation, she said European countries still have enough time to effectively counteract the growing dangers of climate change, if action is taken now.

She also said she will use the summit to gather content for an EU document to be unveiled later this month commemorating the union's 50th anniversary.

Also on the agenda, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to appeal to EU members who belong to NATO to commit more money and troops to Afghanistan.

Additionally, ministers are expected to review efforts to promote economic growth and employment.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.