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Cowen attends cross-border talks

Economic challenges will be top of the agenda when Taoiseach Brian Cowen meets with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Around 26 representatives from across the island are set to attend the North-South ministerial council meeting at Farmleigh in Dublin on Sunday.

Ministers are expected to discuss pressing fiscal issues and consider how they can work together to save money and improve services.

The officials will also review the progress of North-South co-operation, from cancer services in the North West to cross-border infrastructure development.

Mr Cowen said it was vital that the two authorities worked together to generate economic growth and jobs.

"I welcome the significant co-operation already under way and look forward to our discussions on how to build on this further to promote growth and employment throughout the island of Ireland," he added.

"The ongoing work of the North-South ministerial council can play an increasingly important part in our strategy for economic recovery and can realise benefits for all of the people, North and South."

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