November 24, 2017 / 3:07 PM / in a year

German president to meet party leaders on Thursday

BERLIN (Reuters) - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the head of Bavaria’s conservatives, and the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) on Thursday, his office said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier gives a statement after a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, as coalition government talks collapsed in Berlin, Germany, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Steinmeier played a central role in encouraging the SPD to reverse its pledge to go into opposition. Thursday’s meeting will include Merkel, SPD leader Martin Schulz and Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Schulz on Friday announced his centre-left party would help form a new government led by Merkel to avert a disruptive repeat election in Europe’s economic and political powerhouse, but said party members would have the final say on any deal.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Andreas Rinke

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