German Chancellor Angela Merkel under pressure in immigration row

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to U.S. President Donald Trump during the second day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix city of La Malbaie Quebec Canada

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to U.S. President Donald Trump during the second day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix city of La Malbaie Quebec Canada

"In our view, we need an "axis of the willing" in the fight against illegal migration," Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz said after meeting with Horst Seehofer, Germany's interior minister in Berlin.

In Germany, the issue of immigration is refusing to go away, fueled in recent weeks by allegations of mismanagement and corruption in the country's asylum authority as well as a string of high-profile crimes where the main suspects have been migrants.

In particular, Merkel objects to a plan which would allow authorities to reject migrants who reach German borders, drawn by the country's prosperity and stability, if they have already registered in other European Union states to the south.

It is also highly unusual for bilateral meetings to take place between government members of differing ranks, such as a leader and an interior minister, and the much-publicised episode contributed to making Merkel look increasingly isolated.

Echoing Merkel's sentiments, French President Emmanuel Macron's office said that "international cooperation can not depend on fits of anger and a few words", according to a statement published by French public broadcaster RFI.

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Chancellor sees Vienna-Berlin-Rome alliance on securing Europe's borders.

"We must decide who comes to Europe, not the smugglers", said Kurz, who is due to meet with Seehofer on Wednesday. Political observers say Merkel may rue the day she gave the nod to Seehofer's appointment as interior minister.

Austria, a major transit nation on the migrants' route, and Italy rejected the argument this week, however, saying they supported Mr. Seehofer's initiative.

Seehofer was due to present a 63-point "Migration Masterplan" on Tuesday, which would create an "asylum turnaround" in the country that has accepted more refugees than any other European Union state.

Veteran CSU politician Hans-Peter Friedrich stated in an interview on German television on Thursday that the CSU party "stood united behind Interior Minister Horst Seehofer" in the row with its allies, but there were no demands to end the cooperation with Angela Merkel.

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The arrival of more than a million asylum seekers since 2015, many fleeing war-torn Syria and Iraq, has deeply divided Germany and fuelled the rise of the far-right AfD in last year's general election at the expense of mainstream parties. The conflict that erupted over the plan jeopardized the coalition government, which has been functioning for only three months.

Merkel can draw some comfort from the positive reception her compromise got among CDU lawmakers, many of whom had earlier this week voiced at least some support for Seehofer's plan.

"(Trump's) withdrawal via Twitter is of course sobering and a little depressing", Merkel said, according to a translation from public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Merkel now faces intense pressure to get deals with European Union partners by the summit.

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