1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel shaking hands with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
2. Merkel and Rutte entering news conference
4. SOUNDBITE (Dutch) Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister:
"They are working very hard on two things - to solve as many of the other issues, if I can put it that way, and at the same time looking to see if we can reach common positions on the relationship of England to the union and in particular in a way that solves the problem of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border. We're not there yet but I think that next week we can be very cautiously optimistic that we can make progress. I say carefully because a great deal depends on talks that will happen in coming days and over the weekend."
6. SOUNDBITE (German) Angela Merkel, German Chancellor:
"And so far we have also managed, as the 27 Member States, to walk this road very unitedly. And that is why I hope that there will be progress, obviously there is progress, but sometimes the trick is in the details, as they say. So everything is only solved when it is really solved. Now the priority is the withdrawal contract. And if we made good progress next week that would be a good signal."
The German and Dutch leaders expressed cautious optimism on Wednesday that Britain and the European Union could soon reach a satisfactory agreement shortly with regard to Britain's exit from the bloc.
Britain is leaving the EU on March 29 and the possibility of there being no deal on future relations - particularly trade - is worrying businesses and politicians.
The EU's Brexit negotiator said earlier on Wednesday that an agreement on Britain's exit "is within reach" if negotiations make progress before a summit next week.
Michel Barnier said that up to 85 percent of the work on a deal is done, but that the issue remains of how to ensure a transparent border on the island of Ireland.
He offered suggestions to make sure border checks are be kept to a minimum.
Yet he also warned that some British proposals for future trade, as they stood, would give the UK too much of a competitive trade advantage.
With goodwill from both sides, he said that "agreement is within reach" as British Prime Minister Theresa May and her 27 counterparts in the EU get ready to meet in Brussels on October 17.
Speaking in The Hague, Netherlands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was pleased to see the intensive talks in Brussels, but also sounded a note of caution.
"I hope that there will be progress, obviously there is progress, but sometimes the trick is in the details, as they say," said Merkel, who was in The Hague for talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
"Everything is only solved when it is really solved."
Rutte sounded a similar note, saying: "We're not there yet but I think that next week we can be very cautiously optimistic that we can make progress. I say carefully because a great deal depends on talks that will happen in coming days and over the weekend."