London : The latest on British’s historic vote to leave the European Union
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says negotiations on British exit should begin "as soon as possible" but adds that "intensive European discussions" are needed.
Speaking after a meeting in Berlin with foreign ministers of the other five founding members of the EU, Steinmeier there is a need to "show the people of Europe that Europe is important, and not only important but able to carry out its work."
He also called for Britain to engage in talks sooner rather than later. He says: "We understand and respect the result and understand that Great Britain will now concentrate on Great Britain," but adds that Britain as a responsibility to work with the EU on exit terms.
French President Francois Hollande says the British vote to leave the European Union poses questions "for the whole planet."
Hollande vowed Saturday to maintain relations with Britain, notably concerning migrants crossing between the two countries and military and economic cooperation.
Speaking after a meeting in Paris with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Hollande said: "For the entire planet there is a question, what will happen?"
He called for an orderly separation between Britain and the EU after Thursday's historic vote to exit the bloc, formed after two world wars to prevent new conflict via trade cooperation.
Hollande, whose country was a founding pillar of European unity, is holding emergency meetings Saturday with leaders of France's political parties as EU leaders try to keep the bloc from unravelling after the British vote.
Top diplomats from the European Union's original six founding nations are meeting in Berlin for hastily arranged talks following Britain's stunning vote to leave the bloc.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says it is critical to see the vote as a wakeup call. He was heading into meetings Saturday with his counterparts from France, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Steinmeier says EU politicians must listen "to the expectations of the European governments but also to the expectations of the people."
He cautioned against rash decisions, saying that "it's totally clear that in times like these one should neither be hysterical nor fall into paralysis."
Steinmeier's office says the meeting is one of many conversations now taking place, and shouldn't be seen as "an exclusive format."