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Germany's Merkel awarded Four Freedoms medal

The German chancellor has been honored for her work on Europe's wave of migration and mediating conflict in Ukraine. The awarding institution said Merkel had shown "great moral leadership as chancellor of all Germans."

The Netherlands-based Roosevelt Foundation on Thursday awarded the International Four Freedoms Medal to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for promoting the "four freedoms" enshrined in a famous 1941 speech by late US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The medal is given to leaders and organizations who promote freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

"As a European leader she led the negotiations to reach a diplomatic solution in the Ukrainian crisis in the interest of peace and security in Europe. She shows great moral leadership as chancellor of all Germans regardless of faith and ethnicity in the face of the start of the anti-Islam movement PEGIDA in 2014," the foundation said in a statement.

"In the current migrant and refugee crisis Merkel is committed to Europe's humanitarian duty to protect those fleeing war and conflict in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and to tackle the causes of the crisis by working for peace in Syria and the region," the foundation added.

The foundation also lauded her participating in the opposition political movement "Democratic Awakening" in the former German Democratic Republic.

"Franklin D. Roosevelt's four freedoms are more relevant than ever before," said Merkel after receiving the award.

The awardees hailed from Germany, Syria, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo

The awardees hailed from Germany, Syria, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo

From Syria to Congo

Merkel joins an illustrious list of leaders who received the prize, including former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, the late South African President Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and the late US President John F. Kennedy.

The foundation on Thursday also awarded Syrian journalist Mazen Darwish the Freedom of Speech Medal for his commitment to independent news in Syria, which has witnessed five years of armed conflict.

Human Rights Watch was honored with the Freedom from Fear award, while three clergymen from the Central African Republic were granted the Freedom of Worship Medal.

Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo was handed the Freedom from Want award for his "dedication to help and protect survivors of sexual violence" in the African nation.

Meanwhile, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the chancellor would continue on to Eindhoven, where Germany and the Netherlands would hold government consultations to deepen the neighbors' "good relationship."