Germany's Merkel lends support to Mexico over NAFTA

Polls open at 7am as voters elect who they are sending to Westminster

Polls open at 7am as voters elect who they are sending to Westminster

Merkel was speaking at the National Palace at a joint press conference with President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday, Efe news reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was hopeful that Britain would stick to the Brexit plan following the snap general election that saw the ruling Conservative Party lose some of its parliamentary seats.

The EU and Mexico launched talks in May 2016 to modernize their Global Agreement, including rules on trade.

However, tension over trade has surfaced under U.S. President Trump and his "America First" policy.

Numerous biggest names in German manufacturing have factories in both Mexico and the United States, including carmakers such as Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler.

Merkel said Europe wanted Britain to remain a good partner, adding they wanted to get to work "speedily".

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said he was also ready to start talks and hoped the United Kingdom general election would not have an impact.

Merkel has been on a tour to rally support among Group of 20 nations ahead of a July 7-8 summit in Hamburg and visited Argentina before heading to Mexico on her Latin America trip. He estimated trade between Mexico and Germany at an annual $18 billion, saying the EU-Mexico trade deal would shore up trade between the two countries. He said he expected the negotiations to begin around mid-August.

In response to reporters' questions, Merkel said she's concerned both about Venezuela and the situation with Qatar.

Europe-wide training of military officers could also be paid for by the fund, von der Leyen said.

The German chancellor said the European Union wants talks to progress "quickly" and warned it will defend the interests of its members during the looming divorce proceedings.

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