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Tributes pour in as 'father of German unification' Helmut Kohl dies

ANI  |  New York [US] 

Architect of German reunification after the end of the Cold War, Helmut Kohl, passed away on Friday. He was 87.

Kohl's Christian Democratic Union party announced the news with a memorial message, reports CNN.

Former US President Bill -- who honored Kohl with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999 -- mourned the loss of his friend, saying his "visionary leadership prepared and all of for the 21st century."

"He was called upon to answer some of the most monumental questions of his time, and in answering them correctly he made possible the reunification of a strong, prosperous and the creation of the European Union," said in a statement.

Kohl, who served as chancellor for 16 years -- from 1982 to 1998 -- and was Germany's longest-serving leader since 1945, worked assiduously for the reunification of West and East Germany, who were separated post War II.

Kohl became chancellor of West in 1982 and served until 1990, then became chancellor of Germany after reunification.

After the Soviet Union relinquished control of Eastern Europe, Kohl launched his push for reunification, with constant reassurances to Western leaders that a united Germany posed no threat.

"I will never forget walking with him through the Brandenburg Gate in 1994 for a large rally on the eastern side, and seeing genuine hope in the eyes of tens of thousands of young people. I knew at that moment that Helmut Kohl was the man who could help them realize their dreams. History continues to prove that he delivered," said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 17 2017. 00:36 IST