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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May smiles as she arrives to deliver a speech on leaving the European Union at Lancaster House in London, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's foreign minister on Tuesday welcomed the "little bit more clarity" British Prime Minister Theresa May provided on what kind of Brexit Britain wants and said it was good she made clear she wanted to work constructively with the European Union.

"She emphasized that Great Britain is seeking a positive and constructive partnership, friendship with a strong European Union. That's good," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement after a speech in which May laid out her Brexit priorities.

Steinmeier said Germany also wanted the closest and most trusting relations possible with Britain but reiterated that negotiations could only begin once the British government has invoked Article 50 to start to divorce talks.

"It's in the interests of Germany and Europe to strengthen the cohesion of the European Union of 27 members and to protect the unity of the European Single Market," Steinmeier said.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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