Further talks on new govt in Germany likely only in 2018

A leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party says that talks with the center-left Social Democrats on forming a government coalition will likely only take place at the beginning of next year.

Julia Kloeckner, a deputy leader of the Christian Democrats, said Monday on public television ARD that thoroughness is more important than speed.

Talks between Merkel's conservative bloc and two smaller parties to form a previously untried coalition collapsed a week ago. The Social Democrats — Merkel's partners in the outgoing government — initially refused to consider a repeat coalition, but said Friday they're open to holding talks.

If Merkel can't put together a coalition, the only options would be a minority government or a new election, months after the Sept. 24 vote.