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Merkel, May stress 'friendly ties' as Brexit talks loom

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new British Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed their countries' "friendly ties" in their first phone call Wednesday, as David Cameron's successor faces the task of overseeing her country's exit from the EU.

[BERLIN] German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new British Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed their countries' "friendly ties" in their first phone call Wednesday, as David Cameron's successor faces the task of overseeing her country's exit from the EU.

Ms Merkel congratulated Ms May on her appointment and wished her luck, the chancellor's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

"Both agreed that cooperation in the spirit of the proven friendly ties between the two countries should continue, including in the upcoming negotiations on Britain's departure from the EU," he said.

Ms May, who according to Downing Street also spoke with the French and Irish leaders after taking office Wednesday, emphasised her commitment to delivering Brexit, but called for patience.

She "explained that we would need some time to prepare for these negotiations and spoke of her hope that these could be conducted in a constructive and positive spirit", a Downing Street spokeswoman said of the calls.

Ms May's predecessor Mr Cameron stood down following the seismic June 23 vote to leave the European Union.

AFP

For more coverage of the EU referendum, visit bt.sg/BrexiT