(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel doused speculation that she may seek high office in Brussels, doubling down on her declaration that her political career will end when she leaves the chancellorship in 2021 at the latest.

“I’m not available for any political office, wherever it is, and that includes Europe,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin alongside Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The German leader stoked fresh speculation about her future plans in a wide-ranging interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, with a comment that she had an “elevated sense of responsibility” on Europe. Merkel told reporters she made the comment firmly in her role as German chancellor.

Rutte backed Merkel and, although not asked, also swatted away speculation.

“She is clear on what she wants to do after her term, and we’ve respected that,” the Dutch leader said. “I’m also not a candidate for this office, just to make clear.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Andrew Blackman, Chris Reiter

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