Germany wants UK to remain in EU, but warns of limits on concessions

Germany's foreign minister says Berlin wants the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union, but warns there are limits to how far other EU countries can go to accommodate British demands for change in the bloc.

Britain's new government wants to renegotiate the country's ties with the EU, and then hold a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether to remain in it.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference during a trip to Portugal on Wednesday, "We want (the U.K.) as an active partner at the heart of Europe, not standing on the sidelines."

Steinmeier added: "I hope in the U.K. there is a debate that also respects how far Europe can go to meet it."

He said Europe is waiting to hear Britain's concrete proposals.