Despite his defeat in the German election last weekend, Christian Democrat (CDU) leader Armin Laschet says he plans to hold talks with the Green Party and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) about forming a coalition government.
"We will now talk to the FDP and the Greens in the next few days. Our offer of talks stands and I think that concrete talks among democrats are now the right thing to do," he said on Tuesday evening after a meeting of his party's parliamentary group.
"We did not win this election," Laschet said, adding that in such a confusing situation "every democratic party must also be prepared to take responsibility. And that is what we are".
After the meeting, he said there was a will to return to unity.
Meanwhile, of the historically low result in the weekend's polls, he said, "This is an election result that everyone would have wished for differently, including myself."
"Now, I think it is right to analyse this critically. I have always appreciated frankness. Nevertheless, the parliamentary group meeting was characterised by the will to stand together now for the position of the (conservative bloc)," he said.
Australian Associated Press