Steinmeier excellent candidate for German presidency- Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) and German Vice Chancellor, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel as they arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting on March 16, 2016 at the Chancellery in Berlin. / AFP / John MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was “excellently suited” to the largely ceremonial post of president after her conservatives agreed to back the Social Democrat as a candidate.

At a time when there’s unrest and instability around the world, sending a signal of stability – and so the conservatives supporting Steinmeier’s candidacy – is in my view right and important,” Merkel said.

Merkel’s camp had initially hoped to promote its own candidate for the position that will become vacant in March – when current president Joachim Gauck retires – but chose to back political rival Steinmeier to avoid a long fight with his party, which is the conservatives’ partner in the ruling ‘grand coalition’.

Reuter/Hauwa M.