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German parties forge ahead with talks on new government

German chancellor and chairwoman of the Christian Democratic party, CDU, Angela Merkel arrives for exploratory talks with the Free Democrats, FDP, and the Greens in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. (Soeren Stache/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and two smaller parties are seeking compromises on the thorny issues of migration and climate change so they can proceed with formal talks on forming a new coalition government.

Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and sister Bavarian-only Christian Social Union is meeting with the pro-business Free Democrats and the left-leaning Greens. They reportedly made some progress Saturday on finding common ground and were pushing for an agreement later yesterday.

The four parties are already days past Merkel's initial deadline to establish the framework for a coalition that has never been tried before at Germany's national level.

Among other things, the CSU wants an annual cap on refugees, while the Greens want to allow more categories of recent migrants to bring their closest relatives to join them.

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