German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a statement at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Merkel says she has the "very highest respect" for German-born Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down. Further she told reporters after the pontiff's announcement: "As chancellor, I thank Benedict XVI for his work and wish him from the bottom of my heart all the best for the coming years." (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Associated Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a statement at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Merkel says she has the "very highest respect" for German-born Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down. Further she told reporters after the pontiff's announcement: "As chancellor, I thank Benedict XVI for his work and wish him from the bottom of my heart all the best for the coming years." (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a statement at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Merkel says she has the "very highest respect" for German-born Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down. Further she told reporters after the pontiff's announcement: "As chancellor, I thank Benedict XVI for his work and wish him from the bottom of my heart all the best for the coming years." (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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