As U.S. Senate leaders edged toward a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling Monday, equally delicate negotiations were taking place between political foes on the other side of the Atlantic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives sat down for a grueling eight hours of talks with their Social Democrat opponents to discuss the formation of a 'grand coalition', Reuters reports.
Photographer Sean Gallup found a way to peek inside the closed-doors meeting, but his window into the talks did not last for long as the curtains were swiftly drawn.
Merkel's conservatives emerged as the dominant force from September's election but, with 311 of the 631 seats in the Bundestag, they lack a majority. According to Reuters neither the Social Democrats, who have 193 seats, nor the Greens, with 63 seats, seem desperate to join Merkel, whose last partners, the Free Democrats, failed to win any seats.