LONDON: EU president Donald Tusk called for Brexit talks to start as soon as possible as he met British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Thursday (Sep 8) following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
At the beginning of the meeting on Downing Street, Tusk told May: "I'm aware that it is not easy but I still hope you will be ready to start the process as soon as possible".
Tusk said he would "discuss process for Brexit" with May, who has said she does not plan to begin the formal procedure to leave the EU until next year.
"Our goal to establish (the) closest possible EU-UK relations," Tusk wrote on Twitter before the meeting.
The EU leader is touring European capitals ahead of a summit in Slovakia this month where the 27 EU leaders - the entire bloc, except Britain - will gather to discuss the fallout from Britain's June 23 EU referendum.
"It doesn't mean that we are going to discuss our future relations with the UK in Bratislava, because for this... we need the formal notification, I mean triggering Article 50" of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, Tusk said.
May told Tusk she wanted a "smooth" Brexit process and told him they had "serious issues" to discuss.