An EU agreement with Britain on relations after Brexit could serve as a model for ties with other countries that want to be as close as possible to the bloc but are not yet ready to join, such as Ukraine and Turkey, Germany’s foreign minister said.

Britain secured the go-ahead from Brussels to start talks on its future relationship with the EU earlier this month, with London saying it aspires to a closer relationship as a former member than that of any other third country.

In an interview with the Funke newspaper group published on Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said such a deal could offer a solution to the puzzle of how the bloc of 27 can manage its ties with two other large non-members.

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