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German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will approach negotiations on Britain's departure from the European Union on the understanding that the country will continue to be a partner, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

"We will conduct departure negotiations in the spirit of Britain remaining a good partner," she said in the southern city of Nuremberg. "But we must also look to things that strengthen the EU, and not be focused exclusively on EU exit talks."

British Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier this week that Britain would leave the EU without an agreement if it was unable to achieve a satisfactory agreement with the bloc.

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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