Summit called to boost EC unity

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(First Edition)

PARIS - France and Germany are calling for an extraordinary summit of the European Community as soon as all 12 member states ratify the troubled Maastricht treaty on European union, officials said yesterday, writes Julian Nundy.

Officials said the two countries agreed at a two-day summit in France to call for an EC summit to put European political and economic integration back on track. Earlier they called on Britain to ratify Maastricht as soon as possible to give 'a new impulse' to building a unified Europe,

Speaking after their meeting in Beaune, Burgundy, President Francois Mitterrand said he and Chancellor Helmut Kohl wished to see 'the Maastricht treaty ratified by Britain as soon as possible, and we expect a new impulse for European construction from this ratification'.

The summit, at which Edouard Balladur, the Gaullist Prime Minister, was also present, was the first formal foreign policy act of the new left-right government brought about by the French conservatives' victory in parliamentary elections two months ago.

In Beaune, while Mr Balladur and Mr Kohl had a separate meeting yesterday morning, it was Mr Mitterrand who stole the photographers' attention by strolling with the German Chancellor after dinner on Monday evening.