German Chancellor Merkel: Respect pope's decision

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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:00 am

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has the “very highest respect” for German-born Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down.

Merkel told reporters after the pontiff's announcement Monday: “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.” She didn't say whether the outgoing pope might return to his homeland and left without taking questions.

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