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Chinese president expresses condolences over former German chancellor's death

Chinese president expresses condolences over former German chancellor's death

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin says former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl played a key role forming his outlook on the world. Kohl died Friday at age 87. "The maker of a united Germany and Franco-German friendship: with Helmut Kohl, we lose a great European", tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron, with an iconic picture of Kohl and Mitterrand holding hands at a memorial to the World War One battle of Verdun. Among the State of Israel's greatest friends, he was completely dedicated to its security. His admiration for Israel and Zionism found expression in my many meetings with him and in his resolute stand in favor of Israel, which he constantly presented in Europe and in worldwide forums.

"When a new spirit began to stir in eastern Europe in the 1980s, when, starting in Poland freedom was seized, when courageous people in Leipzig, East Berlin and elsewhere in East Germany began a peaceful revolution, then Helmut Kohl was the right man at the right time", added Merkel, wearing black.

In his message, President Faure described Mr Kohl as a towering figure of the contemporary European political landscape and a true statesman who not only oversaw German reunification but also paved the way for deeper European integration. He has served as the Chancellor of West Germany from 1982 to 1990 and reunited Germany from 1990 to 1998.

Kohl was married for 41 years to Hannelore Renner, an interpreter of English and French who stood firmly but discreetly by his side. "He never accepted the division of our country, but managed to launch its reunification with force and resolution".

Present leaders of the world have expressed their condolences on the death of Germany's revolutionary leader, who led his country for 16 long years. "His legacy will live on". "In this moment, I am thinking with great respect and great gratitude on that life and work".

Juncker said that "without Helmut Kohl, the euro would not exist".

"Preparations are already underway", Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker's spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told AFP.

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