Europe

Report: German coalition agrees on Steinmeier as president

  • FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2016 file photo German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier waves to the press as he arrives for talks with Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, in Warsaw, Poland. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, file)

    FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2016 file photo German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier waves to the press as he arrives for talks with Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, in Warsaw, Poland. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2016 file photo German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier laughs as he waits for the arrival of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

    FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2016 file photo German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier laughs as he waits for the arrival of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

    FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)  (The Associated Press)

The parties making up Germany's coalition government are reported to have agreed to support the foreign minister becoming the country's next president.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier would take over the largely ceremonial role as head of state from Joachim Gauck, whose five-year term ends in February.

German news agency dpa reported Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc would back Steinmeier for the post.

The 60-year-old Social Democrat is among Germany's most popular politicians. While normally studiously diplomatic, Steinmeier strongly criticized U.S. President-elect Donald Trump during the election campaign, describing him as one of the world's "hate preachers."

Steinmeier's promotion to Germany's highest office would leave a void in the foreign ministry, where he led efforts to resolve conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

A possible replacement there hasn't been announced.