BRUSSELS: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that the EU's future took priority over Brexit talks, in a rebuke to British Prime Minister Theresa May's plans to bring the negotiations up at a Brussels summit.
"For me, the future of the (remaining) 27 member states comes before the exit negotiations with Great Britain" said Merkel, Europe's most influential leader, as she arrived for the two-day meeting.
"We want to conduct these negotiations in a good spirit," she nonetheless added.
Merkel welcomed the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who was attending his first EU summit after winning elections May 7.
"I am pleased to work together (with Macron) because I believe that creativity and new impulses that originate in France, which originate in Germany and France, can be good for all," she said.