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German reunification architect Helmut Kohl dies at 87

19 June 2017

Germany's longest serving post-war leader left active politics in 2002. This required great political strength and courage - both of which qualities Helmut had in abundance.

"The 21st century in Europe really began on his watch", Clinton said, describing Mr Kohl as "a man who was big in more than physical stature".

The former chancellor was also known for his large role in shaping the European Union.

The former German chancellor died Friday at 87. Helmut Kohl visited India in 1986 and 1993.

Helmut Kohl was one of a trio of dominant western conservative politicians along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher whose concerted efforts helped change the course of history by ending Cold War politics.

He says Kohl "will be remembered in Russian Federation as a staunch advocate of a friendly relationship between our countries". Toward the end of World War II, he was called into the ranks of the Wehrmacht.

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President Steinmeier said Kohl was an "exceptional politician" with a "strong character".

Later in his career, Kohl would once again personally shepherd a project that shaped Europe's future.

The following year, Kohl plunged his party into crisis when he admitted accepting undeclared donations during his time as chancellor.

Gabriel said in a statement Friday that Kohl "did a lot not just to make German reunification happen, but also for European integration".

He won voters in bleak communist East Germany by promising them "flourishing landscapes". He embodied German reunification, they said, "even if the course he set led to severe social upheaval in eastern Germany". His 16-year tenure was the longest of any German Chancellor since Otto von Bismarck, and by far the longest of any democratically elected Chancellor.

"Like millions of others, I was able to go from a life under a dictatorship to a life of freedom", Merkel added.

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Germany's longest-serving chancellor since World War II lived long enough to see the European unity he championed see hard times after he left office.

Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, who worked with Kohl to negotiate the peaceful reunification of Germany, said: "The United States has lost one of its best friends and the world has lost a ringing voice for freedom". The UN chief served as Portuguese prime minister between 1995 and 2002.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko said "Kohl was a political giant, a European visionary and true statesman".

In 2008, shortly after his fall, Mr. Kohl announced his intention to marry a newer companion, Maike Richter, 35 years his junior and a former economic adviser in the chancellery. These relationships became invaluable when East Germany began to unexpectedly collapse in 1989: Kohl was able to address concerns of global parties on all sides while also on the domestic intricacies of reunification.

The Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Josef Michael Kohl was born on April 3, 1930 in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany.

"On behalf of the people of Ireland I wish to convey my deepest sympathies to his family and to the people of Germany".

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