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Merkel 'not bidding to head UN'

Angela Merkel's spokesman has denied that the German chancellor has her eye on the top job at the United Nations when she eventually leaves her role leading Europe's biggest economy.

Mrs Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert curtly denied a report in a Luxembourg newspaper that the chancellor hopes to succeed Ban Ki-moon as UN secretary-general in two years.

The South Korean's second term finishes at the end of 2016 and a European has not had the top UN job since Austria's Kurt Waldheim left in 1981.

Daily Luxemburger Wort cited unidentified German government officials as saying Mrs Merkel, who last year won a third term as chancellor, lobbied for the post during a recent visit to Washington.

Mr Seibert wrote on his official Twitter account that the report "lacks any foundation".

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