Donald Trump openly chastised America's closest allies in the 2017 NATO summit, asking them to "contribute their fair share" and his pointman in Berlin has reinforced the divisive narrative and now there are calls for him to be sent back home.
Merkel and Macron's meeting gave them a last chance to discuss Europe's stance on the crisis in Syria and the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran before both leaders fly to Washington next week for separate talks with US President Donald Trump.
The SPD leadership and many other members are in favour of the coalition between the party and Angela Merkel's conservatives. But the youth wing of the party and left-wingers are fighting for a "No Grand Coalition" vote.
As months of tension with European countries begins to ease off, Turkey's premier visits the most powerful country in the EU. Leaders will seek to boost economic ties and discuss Turkey's fight against terror, both in Turkey and Syria.
Martin Schulz said an extraordinary party congress would be held in the western city of Wiesbaden on April 22 to pick a new leader.
The two largest political parties appear to have reached an agreement on forming a grand coalition government.
Focus will be on several contentious issues, including healthcare and labour policy as conservatives and Social Democrats try to conclude coalition negotiations.
"We will have to negotiate very, very intensively today" especially on areas of social policy like labour law, healthcare reform and housing, SPD leader Martin Schulz says.
Migration, and in particular the question of family reunions, was major sticking point in German coalition talks.
Four months after the September election that left Europe's largest economy in an unprecedented state of political limbo, Germany's two largest parties are trying to hammer out a deal that will bring an end to the impasse.
Delegates of the center-left Social Democratic Party voted 362 to 279 in favour of opening coalition talks with Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union after an emotional daylong debate in Bonn.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scrambling to prevent a further erosion of her personal authority at home and end months of uncertainty that have started to weaken Germany's international influence.
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