November 17, 2017 / 7:34 AM / in 2 years

German coalition impasse can be resolved, Merkel's top aide says

Peter Altmaier of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leaves the German Parliamentary Society after exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government in Berlin, Germany, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - The chief of staff to German Chancellor Angela Merkel said he was optimistic that the parties exploring forming a government together would reach agreement despite failing to achieve a breakthrough in overnight talks.

Interviewed on ARD television on Friday, Peter Altmaier said he was confident that Merkel’s conservative camp, the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens could overcome divisions on migration and climate change policy, but declined to say how long it would take.

“We negotiated the whole day yesterday, and that’s not a bad sign - it shows that we take the task seriously and want to come together,” he said. “I don’t want to say tomorrow or the day after, but I believe the problem is solveable.”

Reporting By Thomas Escritt, editing by Larry King

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