Pledging to keep working with May in the same spirit as long as she is in office, Merkel noted that the government “wishes to maintain close cooperation and a close relationship with the British government,” the German leader's spokeswoman Martina Fietz said.
Fietz declined to comment on how May's decision could affect Brexit, as “the development depends essentially on domestic political developments in Britain”.
It came after May announced she was to step down as leader on June 7th.
In an emotional speech outside Downing Street, May said she had “done my best” to honour the 2016 EU referendum result.
It would remain a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to deliver Brexit, she added.
May said she will continue to serve as prime minister while a Conservative leadership contest takes place.
She will step down as Conservative leader on June 7th and a leadership contest is due to begin the following week.