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Refugee expert as foreign policy adviser to Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel appointed Jan Hecker, her refugee policy coordinator, as her new foreign policy adviser, as she braced for tricky talks on a new coalition government next week, where immigration is likely to be a key issue, a government spokeswoman said.

Hecker, a former federal judge, took over the newly created position of refugee coordinator in October 2015 after Merkel’s decision to allow in over a million migrants. He led Germany’s migration treaties with African states and accompanied Merkel on a number of foreign trips focused on migration.

Merkel, humbled in last month’s national election by a surge of the anti-immigrant far right, is seeking to put together a three-way coalition of her conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats and the environmentalist Greens – a combination previously untested at the federal level.

Members of her conservative bloc resolved their own differences and agreed to limiting migration, paving the way for talks to begin with the other parties.

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