German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference in Berlin, Germany, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo
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Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday he would not join Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, opening the way for a new SPD figure in the high-profile post.Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed that the SPD will retain control of the Foreign Ministry in their "grand coalition" and the party said on Wednesday it would announce the name of the new minister on Friday.Parliament is due to elect Merkel for her fourth term as chancellor of Europe's biggest economy Wednesday, nearly six months after an election in which her conservatives and the SPD bled support to the AfD.In his statement Thursday, Gabriel, who has previously been economy minister and environment minister, said it had been a "big honor" to serve his party and his country.
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