German designated secretary general of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks during a press conference following a leadership meeting at the party's headquarters in Berlin on March 5, 2018. AFP / John MACDOUGALL
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday she would work with France to tackle pressing issues such as trade policy, the war in Syria and competition with China after the Social Democrats (SPD) approved joining a coalition with her conservatives. Merkel welcomed the vote by a clear majority of SPD members that ended more than five months of political deadlock after an inconclusive election and said the right-left government must quickly get to work.Both Merkel's conservatives and the SPD are under pressure to appear distinctive to voters in a coalition borne out of necessity rather than choice, making it difficult for Merkel to balance conflicting demands.Senior conservative Jens Spahn, seen as one possible successor to Merkel, warned the SPD not to obstruct government policy in a rerun of the coalition that has ruled since 2013 .
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