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Top environmental negotiators from Japan, the United States and eight other non-European Union industrialized countries will hold secret talks in New Zealand in the middle of February, informed sources said Thursday.

The sources said that the ambassadorial-level officials from the 10 member countries of the so-called Umbrella Group will discuss a joint strategy toward stalled international negotiations on ways to prevent global warming. The group comprises Japan, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakstan.

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