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Kerry calls on EU to stay calm after Brexit shock

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference after a meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 27, 2016.  US Secretary of State John Kerry on June 27 urged European Union members not to "lose their head" after Britain voted to become the first member of the 28-nation bloc to leave. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference after a meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 27, 2016.<br />US Secretary of State John Kerry on June 27 urged European Union members not to “lose their head” after Britain voted to become the first member of the 28-nation bloc to leave. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged European Union members not to “lose their head” or be “revengeful” after Britain’s shock referendum decision to leave 28-nation bloc.

“I think it is absolutely essential that we stay focused on how, in this transitional period, nobody loses their head, nobody goes off half-cocked, people don’t start ginning up scatterbrain or revengeful premises,” Kerry said in Brussels.

He said Washington and Europe must “look for ways to maintain the strength that will serve the interests and the values that brought us together in the first place. And that is what is important.”

Kerry also stressed that despite Britain’s decision on Thursday, these common values would endure, and that a “strong EU” remained vital for Washington.

“The United States cares about a strong EU,” he said. “It is through the strength of those countries coming together that we are able to make good things happen.”

Kerry was speaking before heading to London to meet outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Minister Philip Hammond.

His comments came a day before a summit of EU leaders, including Cameron, in Brussels that will discuss the timing and modalities of Britain’s departure and how the bloc can respond.


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