BERLIN: Olaf Scholz, the German finance minister and likely next chancellor, will join Angela Merkel in her bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, government sources said Thursday.
The joint meetings with leaders, including US President Joe Biden, are intended to send a "special signal" and to show "a great deal of continuity in the G20 process", the sources said.
Scholz's Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly won last month's election in Germany, beating Merkel's conservatives into second place with their worst result since World War II as she prepares to retire after 16 years as chancellor.
The SPD has since been in talks with the Greens and the liberal FDP, who came third and fourth respectively, to form a potential coalition.
The parties last week unveiled an accelerated timeline for their coalition talks, saying they aimed to have Scholz installed as chancellor by early December.
The G20 club of the world's 20 most industrialised countries is meeting this weekend in Rome.
The format of the planned joint bilateral talks is "historic", the government sources said, signalling a strong vote of confidence in Scholz's chances of becoming the next chancellor.
As well as a meeting with Biden, Merkel and Scholz will speak with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leaders of Argentina, Singapore, India and South Korea.
In addition, the two will take part in a high-level meeting with the US, France, Britain and Germany on Iran policy.