'Unifier of Germany' Helmut Kohl passes away at 87

'Unifier of Germany' Helmut Kohl passes away at 87

'Unifier of Germany' Helmut Kohl passes away at 87

Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt also mourned the death of Kohl. The party leaders hinted that Kohl's tenure was more productive than his successors Gerhard Schröder and Merkel.

"A child during the Second World War, he believed in the importance of global cooperation, which remains as critical today as it was during Helmut Kohl's life", Lagarde said.

FILE - The June 20, 1997 file photo shows President Clinton welcomes German Chancellor Helmut Kohl prior to a formal dinner for the leading dignitaries of the Summit of the Eight at the University of Denver's Phipps House in Denver.

And about the German situation they said: "if Helmut Kohl doesn't push it through, nobody else will", Kohl said.

Helmut Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, has died at 87.

"Working closely with my very good friend to help achieve a peaceful end to the Cold War and the unification of Germany within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will remain one of the great joys of my life", he said in a statement. This required great political strength and courage - both of which qualities Helmut had in abundance. "The unification of our country and our continent will be linked to his name for all time".

European Union Chief Jean-Claude Juncker mourned his death and ordered flags at European institutions to be flown at half-mast.

By committing to anchor Germany within Europe under a common currency, he overcame resistance to reunification from Mitterrand, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister who feared the return of a powerful, united Germany.

Swiss banks were involved in a financing scandal of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) that tarnished Kohl's reputation shortly after leaving office.

"It will take some time, however, until we can truly judge what we have lost in him. We must follow his example to relaunch the European Union".

President Donald Trump said Kohl was "a friend and ally to the United States as he led the Federal Republic of Germany through 16 pivotal years".

From 1969 to 1976, he was Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate. In 1982, he became Chancellor in a coalition with the FDP. Chancellor Kohl, recalls Cardinal Marx was a regular guest of the Katholikentag. Kohl, who also played a central role in the Treaty of Maastricht, had repeatedly stressed that Germany and Europe are "two faces of the same coin", the cardinal said.

On July 16, 1990, it fell to Gorbachev as Soviet president and to Kohl, as chancellor of West Germany, to reach an agreement on the reunification of communist East Germany with the capitalist west. "In the 1990s, which were so hard for our country, Mr. Kohl was honest in his attempts to help us cope with both economic and political turbulence surfacing after the Soviet Union's collapse".

He says Kohl "will be remembered in Russian Federation as a staunch advocate of a friendly relationship between our countries".

As chancellor of a unified Germany, Kohl reassured its neighbors by definitively relinquishing claims on their territories that had historically had ethnically German populations, and that Nazi Germany had claimed.

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