German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government declined to comment on talks on a planned merger between European planemaker EADS and Britain's BAE Systems as negotiations stalled before a deadline on Wednesday.

"Both companies have until 1700 British time to say whether they want to continue the talks, to seek an extension with the UK Takeover Panel. I am not going to comment," Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference.

The companies were aiming to create the world's biggest arms and aerospace group.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson, Noah Barkin)