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.