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Benelux and Central European leaders meet, seeking unity

Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, center, and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, right, greet Slovakian PM Robert Fico , left, ahead of talks on European security and future between the three Benelux countries and the four central European nations of the so-called Visegrad Group, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, center, and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, right, greet Slovakian PM Robert Fico , left, ahead of talks on European security and future between the three Benelux countries and the four central European nations of the so-called Visegrad Group, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland — The leaders of four Central European nations have met in Warsaw with their counterparts from the Benelux nations, a gathering that brings together two blocs within the European Union with very different views on key issues.

The meeting Monday, in which the sides said they voiced unusual openness with each other, marked a search for greater understanding as Britain began difficult negotiations on leaving the union.

Leaders said they discussed difficult issues, including the future of the EU after Brexit, Russia and perhaps the most divisive issue of all — migration.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said the EU only has a future if the 27 remaining members stay together.

Charles Michel of Belgium called it "a very intense meeting without any taboos."

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