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Harper urges Europeans to move on trade deal

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, left, and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

Virginia Mayo/AP

Stephen Harper is giving the Europeans a friendly but firm nudge on trade.

The prime minister met early today for 45 minutes with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso in a bilateral meeting on the fringes of the G20 summit.

A Canada-European Union trade agreement has been inching toward the finish line, and the slow pace has frustrated the Conservative government.

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Harper was expected to express his determination to conclude the deal soon, and urge Barroso to get things moving on his end.

Leaders from the world's 20 biggest economies will wrap up their discussions today in St. Petersburg, Russia, on a range of topics, including fiscal consolidation.

A dinner meeting that extended well into the evening Thursday touched on the topic of Syria, but a chasm still remains between the positions of the United States, France and the United Kingdom on one side, and Russia and a number of other nations on the other.

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