Reactions to Kissinger’s death: “The world loses a great diplomat”

As of: November 30, 2023 10:46 a.m

The USA is mourning the loss of its former Foreign Minister Kissinger – and the world is sharing its sympathy. Chancellor Scholz calls Kissinger a “great diplomat.” China’s head of state Xi speaks of a “valued old friend”.

Numerous heads of state and government from around the world expressed their condolences over the death of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honored the services of the late former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for transatlantic friendship. “The world is losing a special diplomat,” said Scholz on the online service X, formerly Twitter.

Scholz also referred to the deceased’s significant commitment “to the transatlantic friendship between the USA and Germany”, who always remained connected to his German homeland. Henry Kissinger was born in 1923 in Fürth, Central Franconia, as Heinz Alfred Kissinger – the son of a Jewish family. At the age of 15 he managed to escape from the Nazis to the USA.

Baerbock: “Century figure the international Politics”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on X that Kissinger, a “century figure in international politics,” had died.

What will remain above all else is Kissinger’s greatness, Baerbock continued. And: “To extend a hand to our country after the Second World War and to be bound in friendship until the end.”

Steinmeier: “Fighter for freedom and democracy”

Steinmeier said the world was losing a “great fighter for freedom and democracy.” He called Kissinger “a friend of Germany who experienced and helped shape key moments in our history.” In a letter of condolence to the widow Nancy Sharon Kissinger and the family, Steinmeier described Kissinger as “an impressive man with an incredible life story.”

With his détente and disarmament policy, Kissinger laid “the foundation for the end of the Cold War and for democratic change in Eastern Europe,” explained Steinmeier and underlined: “That today we live in a united and democratic Germany, integrated into strong alliances , the United States has a part in it, and Henry Kissinger personally has a big part in it.”

We Germans are deeply grateful for Henry Kissinger’s contributions to transatlantic friendship.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal President

Steinmeier also recalled that Kissinger celebrated his 100th birthday in June in his Franconian hometown of Fürth. “It touched me very much to see that this country that had once driven him away had now become a patch of home for him again.”

Bush: “most grateful for his friendship”

Shortly after Kissinger’s death was announced, ex-US President George W. Bush from the USA contacted him with a tribute. Bush said: “With the death of Henry Kissinger, America has lost one of the most reliable and distinctive voices on foreign policy issues.” Kissinger worked in the administrations of two US presidents and advised many others, wrote Bush, who was also advised by Kissinger.

I am grateful for this service and advice, but I am most grateful for his friendship.

George W. Bush, former US President

Von der Leyen: “outstanding personality”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described Kissinger as an outstanding figure in world history. “Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic strategy and excellence shaped world politics throughout the 20th century,” she wrote on Platform X after the politician’s death. “His influence and legacy will continue to resonate well into the 21st century.”

China: Kissinger good friend of the Chinese people

Kissinger also described China as a “good old friend of the Chinese people.” He was a pioneer and builder of relations between the USA and China, said Foreign Office spokesman Wang Wenbin. State and party leader Xi Jinping sent US President Joe Biden a letter of condolence. “He will always remain alive in the hearts of the people of China as a treasured old friend,” China’s ambassador to the US, Xie Feng, wrote on X.

Kissinger played an important role in diplomatic relations with China during the Cold War as an advisor on foreign and security policy under former President Richard Nixon. In 1971, the US diplomat made two secret trips to the People’s Republic to rebuild communication channels with China. A year later, Nixon traveled to Beijing on a historic visit, becoming the first U.S. president to visit the People’s Republic of China, founded by the Communist Party in 1949. Kissinger traveled to China again and again.

Putin: “outstanding diplomat”

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Kissinger as an “outstanding diplomat.” In a telegram released by the Kremlin, Putin wrote to Kissinger’s widow:

A wise and far-sighted statesman who enjoyed well-deserved respect around the world for decades has died.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

Kissinger died on Wednesday at his home in the US state of Connecticut, his consulting firm said. The Secretary of State under US Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had an enormous influence on international politics after World War II.

Martin Polansky, ARD Berlin, tagesschau, November 30, 2023 11:03 a.m

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