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German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a party meeting in Berlin, Germany, June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke


BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and its European Union peers will conduct divorce talks with Britain in a friendly fashion, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, but their priority would nonetheless be to keep the remaining 27 members of the bloc together.

"We will of course negotiate in a friendly atmosphere whenever this is possible," Merkel said. "But we must make sure that the EU-27 look after their future. It would be fatal if we lose sight of the future and unity of the EU 27 before sincere exit negotiations with Britain."

She added: "(The negotiations) are not a wish list. The decision to leave was made by the British."

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Joseph Nasr, editing by Thomas Escritt)