The chancellor of Germany has been heavily criticised for her open door policy and her vow to all Syrians they would be welcome in her country.
With just one year to go before a federal election the Christian Social Union (CSU) – her key coalition partners – are growing colder towards their partnership.
Last week the CSU threatened to pull the plug on co-operation over Merkel’s migrant policies.
Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the Bavarian sister party to CDU – wants to cap the number of refugees in Germany 200,000 per year after around one million arrived in 2015.
The CSU has long criticised Merkel’s open-door refugee policy and on Saturday Seehofer said the two conservative parties “face election defeats” if they remain at odds over migration.
Yet as her popularity slides, Merkel remains defiant on her stance on welcoming migrants.
Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) still insist integration is successful and foreign nationals are openly accepted into German society.
But after recent terror attacks in Ansbach and Würzburg her political allies want to slow down the rate of migrants coming over the border to seek asylum.
On Sunday Merkel met Seehofer for two hours to discuss their differences.
German media reported there were no signs of a breakthrough between the pair.
They later met behind closed doors with Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) – the junior partner in Merkel’s coalition – but a coalition source said the refugee issue was not discussed at that meeting.
After the meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Chief of Staff said he was confident Germany’s sister conservative parties would soon sort out their differences.
Peter Altmaier, who is close to the chancellor is responsible for overseeing the government’s handling of refugee issues, told broadcaster ARD he was “very optimistic” the CDU and CSU would be able to put their differences aside in the coming weeks.
He said: “At the moment the chances of that are good because since April, since the EU-Turkey deal came into force, the number of refugees has gone down so drastically that hardly anyone is coming to Germany anymore and that means this dispute about caps might resolve itself.”
Senior CDU member Jens Spahn told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung he did not understand why the conservative parties were arguing because the CDU had decided back in December that it was necessary to significantly reduce the number of new arrivals to avoid overstraining German society.
In a regional vote last Sunday Merkel’s CDU came in third place, behind the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) -an embarrassing result that Merkel has admitted was a result of her party’s pro-refugee stance.
An Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed support for the AfD rising by one point to 13 percent at the federal level while the conservative bloc – made up of the CDU and the CSU – lost one point to 33 percent.
AfD co-leader Frauke Petry told newspaper Welt am Sonntag she wanted to make the AfD the strongest party in opposition in the Bundestag lower house of parliament after next year’s vote.
It is represented in nine of Germany’s 16 state assemblies but does not have any seats in the federal parliament.
Voters have been turning in their droves to the far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party, which is set to scoop seats in 10 of the country’s 16 regional assemblies despite only forming in 2013.