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Ten countries agreed Friday to set up a Council of Baltic Sea States, basing their new organization on a commitment to human rights, the market economy and cooperation.

Meeting on the final day of a two-day summit, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Poland declared: "(We have) decided to establish a "Council of the Baltic Sea States.""This cooperation will strengthen the cohesion among these countries, leading to greater political and economic stability as well as a regional identity," the final declaration said.

It said that recent dramatic changes in Europe heralded a new era of European relations where the confrontations and division of the past "are replaced by partnership and cooperation."

Cooperation between the states would be predominantly in the areas of assistance to new democratic institutions, economic and technological assistance, health and humanitarian matters, the environment and energy, communications, culture, education, tourism and information, the declaration said.