The leader of Germany's conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), a critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming refugee policies, said on Saturday the two sister parties face election defeats if they remain at odds over migration.

Horst Seehofer, who is also Bavaria's state premier, said he hoped Merkel and her Christian Democrats (CDU) would agree to a cap of 200,000 refugees a year following the arrival of about one million in 2015.

"If we narrow the gap on our positions, we have good chances (in upcoming elections), but if we don't, it will be a major liability for both the CDU and the CSU," Seehofer told reporters at the end of a two-day CSU meeting during which party leaders unanimously backed his plan to limit refugee numbers.

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