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Social Democrats Prefer Gabriel Over Schulz as German Foreign Minister - Reports

© REUTERS / Fabrizio BenschGerman Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference in Berlin Germany, December 19, 2016
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference in Berlin Germany, December 19, 2016 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Members of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) said they would prefer Sigmar Gabriel to continue serving as the country's foreign minister amid plans of party leader Martin Schulz to take the position of vice chancellor and foreign minister, local media reported Sunday.

The news comes against the background of coalition talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD, which kicked off earlier in the day.

"It will really be a pity if we have to lose Gabriel as foreign minister," Michael Frenzel, the president of SPD economic forum told Die Welt, adding that Gabriel managed to lead a great foreign policy.

A man with a tie in German national colours wears a pin of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) during the state election Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Schwerin, Germany, September 4, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Reinhold Robbe, an SPD politician and a former parliamentary commissioner for the Armed Forces, said that it would be very bad advice for the SPD to lose Gabriel during a period of instability in the world.

READ MORE: Ahead of Crucial Coalition Talks, Merkel's and Schulz's Ratings Hit Rock Bottom

Gabriel is a figure with a political flair, which Schulz lacks, the SPD members reportedly claimed.

Gabriel has served as foreign minister since late January 2017 after he refused to run for chancellorship and gave up his position as the SPD leader.

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