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02 July 2018, 04:09 | Darnell Patrick
Germany secures deal for return of failed asylum claimants: reports
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has offered to resign after rejecting a migration deal brokered in Brussels by Chancellor Angela Merkel, as the two leaders prepare for final talks on Monday.
Mr Seehofer and Mrs Merkel have been at odds over Germany's approach to mass migration.
The governing coalition - which would then consist only of the CDU and Social Democrats (SPD) - would be short of a majority and Merkel would either have to rule with a minority government or seek the formal support of the Green Party or the pro-business FDP.
CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said earlier that party leaders were "united" behind Merkel and "effective, humane solutions together with our European partners".
Horst Seehofer on Sunday night resigned from his posts as German interior minister and chairman of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), amid disputes with Chancellor Angela Merkel over asylum policy, reported Deutsche Presse Agentur.
Both parties are meeting separately later Sunday to decide how to proceed.
Mr Seehofer has threatened to turn away certain categories of asylum seekers at the country's borders, but Mrs Merkel has insisted upon a European solution.
According to a document sent to coalition partners, Merkel sought to assauge the hardliners with deals with 16 other countries to return already-registered migrants if they reached Germany.
But she announced after the European Union summit that she had also reached separate agreements with Spain and Greece on taking back asylum-seekers.
Merkel has so far opposed Seehofer's "migration master plan" and argued that unilateral moves would have "a domino effect", prompting other European Union member states to push back refugees and further increase the burden of member states like Italy and Greece.
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Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, warned last week the issue of migration could decide the future of the EU.
There were fresh signs on Sunday that the two leaders, entrenched in their positions, may fail to resolve their differences.
Following nine-hour marathon talks at a two-day European Union summit, Mrs Merkel thought she had secured a deal and tried to put a positive spin on the result saying it was a good signal that leaders had been able to agree a common text on the controversial migration issue.
Merkel is hoping a deal secured in Brussels earlier this week will placate her Bavarian allies, who are demanding a significant hardening of Germany's immigration policy.
But dpa reported that Mr Seehofer told the forum he thinks the measures do not adequately accomplish his goals.
Will divisions over migration split Germany's conservative coalition and spell the end of the line for Chancellor Angela Merkel?
The CDU's leaders, who are now gathered in Berlin for a second straight day of discussions, said they still see room for a compromise solution in the migration dispute.
The chancellor's frantic last-minute diplomacy was ultimately prompted by the CSU's fear of losing its cherished absolute majority in Bavaria's state parliament.
Seehofer and Merkel, who have long had a hard relationship, have sparred over migrant policy on and off since 2015. The CSU is fighting state elections in Bavaria in October and, under pressure from the far-right, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), is seeking to burnish its own anti-refugee credentials in an attempt to win back voters.
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