UK 'indispensable partner to EU'
The German foreign minister has pledged to "build bridges" in the wake of David Cameron's summit veto - insisting Britain was an "indispensable partner" in the EU.
At a joint press conference with Foreign Secretary William Hague in London, Guido Westerwelle said the union had to remain "united".
"For Germany the United Kingdom is an indispensable partner in the European Union," he said. "There is no doubt for us that we want to make the next steps in the EU together as 27, or next with Croatia as 28 countries.
"We think we have a common destiny. We think the EU is not only the answer to the darkest chapter of our history. It is also a life insurance in times of globalisation because no country, not Germany, not Great Britain, not France, no country is strong and big enough to face the challenges of globalisation alone."
He added: "My main message is for the British people - you can count on us, and we count on you."
Mr Westerwelle, who is vice-chancellor in the German coalition government, said he was making an "offer" and a "gesture" to move on from the tensions.
The EU was much more than a "currency" for the German people.
He said a conversation when German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Mr Cameron last week had been very constructive.
"I am here to show you that we are willing to build bridges over troubled water," he added. "I think it is necessary that we understand that we have a mutual interest in a European common future."
Mr Westerwelle said Germany wanted to see that the City of London had a "prosperous" future. Protection for the financial hub was one of the main sticking points that led Britain to withdraw from treaty negotiations.