Angela Merkel: A career in pictures

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Angela Merkel has announced she is stepping down as German chancellor in 2021, bringing an end to a political career which, by that point, will have spanned more than three decades.

It is a career documented in pictures at every turn: from visiting fishermen during her earliest campaigns, to talks at the White House, and everything in between.

Here, we have collected just a few from the thousands capturing the woman who has been at the helm of Germany for so many years.

image copyrightAFP
image captionSummer 1989: Mrs Merkel (pictured far right) with Malgorzata Jeziorska and future husband Joachim Sauer at a university summer school for chemistry in Poland
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionNovember 1990: By the next year, she was campaigning in the first German federal election to be held since the country was reunified
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionJanuary 1994: Mrs Merkel was made minister for the environment in 1994 - which appears to have meant showing off how you recycle wrapping paper
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMarch 1995: Mrs Merkel laughs with fellow minister Horst Seehofer, during a cabinet meeting
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image captionMarch 2000: Mrs Merkel was chosen to lead the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in 2000
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionJuly 2005: Five years later, she was back on the campaign trail (pictured) - which would lead to her election as Germany's first female chancellor
image copyrightAFP
image captionJune 2007: Despite it being the 21st Century, politics is still dominated by men, so Mrs Merkel - here with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, US President George W Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Tony Blair - was often the lone female face
image copyrightReuters
image captionApril 2009: Mrs Merkel became a symbol of fiscal austerity in the years which followed the financial crash
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image captionApril 2011: Hillary Clinton, then US secretary of state, and Mrs Merkel in Berlin
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image captionJune 2015: Mrs Merkel with then-President Barack Obama, after a G7 summit session in southern Germany. "You have been a trusted partner throughout my entire presidency - longer than any world leader," the US leader told her a year later.
image copyrightAFP
image captionSeptember 2015: The chancellor's decision to open Germany's borders to refugees in 2015 divided the country. Pictured: Refugees making their way through Hungary
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image captionApril 2018: It also put her on a collision course with US President Donald Trump
image copyrightReuters
image captionOctober 2018: Mrs Merkel tells the world she won't be standing for re-election

All pictures AFP or Getty Images

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