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Europe should complete a probe into alleged Chinese solar-panel dumping before the two sides begin talks, the lobby group that made the claims said after German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered backing for negotiations.

“Before you can talk about an issue you need to know what you’re talking about,” said Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun led by Solarworld AG. (SWV) The European Commission needs to finish its investigation “as soon as possible,” he said.

The European Union began a probe two weeks ago covering 21 billion euros ($27 billion) of imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels, cells and wafers. Solarworld, Germany’s largest panel maker, is among those seeking duties to counter Chinese imports after the U.S. imposed its own restrictions. Europe makes up about three-quarters of the photovoltaic market.

Merkel said this month the EU backs diplomatic talks to resolve the issue. Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming talked about the probe with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on Sept. 19, the ministry said today in a statement on its website.

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