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German Party Leader Drops Bid To Become Foreign Minister To Boost Support For Coalition

The embattled leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) abruptly gave up plans on Friday to become its next foreign minister, hoping to shore up support among SPD members for a new coalition with Angela Merkel’s conservatives, Reuters reports. The SPD agreed on Wednesday to form a new “grand coalition” with the conservatives, more than four months after the election, but the 464,000-strong party rank and file could still sink the deal in a ballot. Its results will be announced on March 4. Many grassroots members of the center-left SPD are skeptical about another tie-up with the conservatives after serving in a similar coalition in 2013-17. The SPD then suffered its worst result of the…