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Merkel says has utmost respect for pope's decision

BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she fully respected German-born Pope Benedict's decision to resign because of his frailty.
"If the pope himself, after thorough reflection, has come to the conclusion that he doesn't have the strength anymore to carry out his duties, then this has my utmost respect," Merkel said in a brief statement at the Chancellery in Berlin. "He had to make a difficult decision."
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