PARIS, March 30 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande on Thursday told British Prime Minister Theresa May that negotiations on Britain's divorce from the European bloc must be "clear and constructive" and should first outline the exit procedure before talking about post-Brexit ties.
During a phone conversation, Hollande stressed that talks must "lift uncertainties and fully respect the rules and interests of the 27-member European Union (EU)," his office said in a statement.
"The President indicated that the talks must firstly be about the terms of withdrawal, dealing especially with citizens' rights and obligations resulting from the commitments made by the United Kingdom."
"On the basis of the progress made, we could open discussions on the framework of future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union," the statement added.
On Wednesday, British Ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow handed a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, officially launching a two-year period of negotiations for a new relationship between London and Brussels.
Britain's triggering of Article 50, the procedure to quit the single-currency bloc, came nine months after a majority of British people voted in a referendum for Brexit.