By John Irish and Andreas Rinke BERLIN/HERMANNSWERDER, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Saturday for clear-headed negotiations with "close partner" Britain over its departure from the European Union. Foreign ministers of the EU's six founding members had earlier said Britain should leave the bloc as soon as possible after Britons voted on Thursday to quit the 28-member bloc. "Britain will remain a close partner, with which we are linked economically," she said, adding that there was no hurry for Britain to invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty -- the first step it must take to set in motion the exit process.
Central banks are ready to cooperate to support financial stability in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the Bank for International Settlements said on Saturday. Central bankers gathered at the organization's global economy meeting in Switzerland discussed the implications of the referendum. "Governors endorsed the contingency measures put in place by the Bank of England and emphasized the preparedness of central banks to support the proper functioning of financial markets," said Agustín Carstens, chairman of the global economy meeting.
Panama is preparing to officially open its canal this weekend to far bigger cargo ships after nearly a decade of expansion work aimed at boosting transit revenues and global trade. President Juan Carlos Varela will unveil the new locks and third shipping lane built into the 102-year-old canal. A Chinese-owned Neopanamax-class cargo ship will be the first vessel to officially test the new infrastructure, entering from the Atlantic and exiting into the Pacific a few hours later.