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          Macron, Merkel optimistic about endorsing Brexit accord at this week's EU summit

          Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-17 08:56
          French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcome European Commission president-elect Ursula Von der Leyen (not pictured) after a joint Franco-German cabinet meeting in Toulouse, France, Oct 16, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

          PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday expressed hope to endorse an accord on Britain's orderly departure from the European Union (EU) at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.

          "I want to believe an agreement is being finalized and that we will be able to endorse it tomorrow," Macron said at a joint press conference with Merkel.

          "Our hope, our willingness is to be in a position to endorse a deal, which I hope can be found in the coming hours. In any case, what we're hearing today is positive," he said.

          Merkel said she believed that a deal between Britain and the EU on how the country leaves the bloc "will be possible."

          "From what I've heard in recent days, I think more and more that we'll obtain this deal... We're in the final sprint," she said.

          Negotiators from Brussels and London entered into a fresh round of talks on Tuesday on a Brexit agreement that could be approved by a EU summit slated for Thursday and Friday.

          British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the EU on Oct 31 with or without a deal. However, British lawmakers last month adopted a law that forces Johnson to seek a Brexit extension if there is no deal reached by Oct 19.

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