Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel said Israel’s security will remain a top priority for “every German government”, during a farewell visit to the Jewish state Sunday near the end of her 16-year term in office.

Merkel, wearing funereal black, laid a wreath at Jerusalem’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, writing in the site’s guest book that visiting there “touches me at the core every time anew”.

“The crimes against the Jewish people that are documented here are a perpetual reminder of the responsibility we Germans bear, and a warning.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who hosted Merkel through the day, called her “a true friend of Israel”.

The German leader had earlier voiced confidence that whoever followed her as chancellor will feel equally committed to Israel’s security.

“Israel’s security will always be of central importance and a central topic for every German government,” she said.

It was “moving” that Israel had come to trust post-war Germany, but this “trust always has to prove itself,” she added.

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