Cabinet minister reaches compromise with Merkel over immigration

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BERLIN (AP) _ Chancellor Angela Merkel and her rebellious Bavarian allies have reached a compromise to end a dispute over managing immigration that threatened to bring down her coalition government.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, leader of Merkel’s Bavarian-only sister party emerged from talks late Monday saying the compromise will “prevent the illegal immigration on the border between Germany and Austria.”

Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union, had been in a standoff with Merkel over his plan to turn back at Germany’s borders any asylum-seekers who had registered in another European Union country. Merkel refused, saying a solution that involves other European nations was needed.

Seehofer offered his resignation as party leader and interior minister at a CSU meeting on Sunday night but was convinced to resume negotiations with Merkel. He didn’t give details of the compromise but said he no longer intends to resign.

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6: 10 p.m.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and top members of his party have arrived at the headquarters of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party as the country’s leaders seek a way out of a dispute over migration policy.

Seehofer didn’t speak to reporters as he arrived at the Berlin headquarters of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. Other leaders of Seehofer’s Bavaria-only Christian Social Union also had no comment.

The CDU and CSU are conservative allies but are locked in a dispute over Seehofer’s plans to turn back some migrants at Germany’s borders. Merkel rejects the idea, insisting on a European solution.

Seehofer offered his resignation as interior minister and CSU leader at a meeting of his party on Sunday night, but then said he would hold another meeting with Merkel’s party.

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5:25 p.m.

Germany’s interior minister is lashing out at Chancellor Angela Merkel in an interview ahead of a crisis meeting in a dispute over migration policy.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer traveled to Berlin on Monday after offering to resign during a meeting of his Christian Social Union party on Sunday night. He and other CSU leaders planned to meet the leadership of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. The two parties are allies.

Merkel and Seehofer have been at odds over the latter’s plan to turn back some migrants at Germany’s borders. Merkel rejects the idea, insisting on a Europe-wide solution.

Seehofer was quoted as telling the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Monday that he was in an “inconceivable” situation. He says “I won’t let myself be fired by a chancellor who is only chancellor because of me.”

That was an apparent reference to his party’s relatively strong election results in Bavaria.

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9 a.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her rebellious Bavarian allies are searching Monday for a way to end a standoff over migration after Germany’s interior minister offered to resign, but a compromise looked elusive in the dispute that has rocked the government.

The crisis that has raised questions over the future of Merkel’s 3{-month-old administration pits Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and his Bavaria-only Christian Social Union against Merkel, the head of its longtime sister party, the Christian Democratic Union.

Ahead of a difficult Bavarian state election in October, the CSU is determined to show it is tough on migration. Seehofer wants to turn asylum-seekers who have already been registered in another European Union country back at Germany’s border, but Merkel is adamant that Germany shouldn’t take unilateral action.

Seehofer and Merkel, who have long had a difficult relationship, have sparred over migrant policy on and off since 2015.

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