Merkel seeks "good agreement" with UK on Brexit

Merkel seeks

He died in Ludwigshafen, Germany, the Rhine port city.

The European Commission hopes to organise a grand ceremony to remember former German Chancellor and European "visionary" Helmut Kohl, a Commission spokeswoman said on Sunday (18 June).

A photograph showing Kohl holding hands with French president François Mitterrand at the Douaumont cemetery in Verdun became the defining symbol of Franco-German conciliation after decades of bloody conflict between the two countries. 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. He is credited with bringing East and West Germany together after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Kohl has been a part of both the divided Germany as well as the reunited Germany.

Kohl was married for 41 years to Hannelore Renner, an interpreter of English and French who stood firmly but discreetly by his side. He was the man who directed his country and Europe through unification.

"Helmut Kohl was the most important European statesman since World War II", former U.S. President Bill Clinton said in 2011, adding that Kohl answered the big questions of his time "correctly for Germany, correctly for Europe, correctly for the United States, correctly for the future of the world".

Kohl was a towering figure in European politics in the second half of the 20th century, serving as Germany's chancellor for a record 16 years from 1982 to 1998. Only Otto von Bismarck, who first unified Germany in the 1870s, was chancellor longer, for 19 years. "In this moment, I am thinking with great respect and great gratitude on that life and work". "That is why Helmut Kohl is now entitled to a European state ceremony, to which I am personally committed". "He will be remembered in Russian Federation as a staunch advocate of friendly relations between our countries, as a person who made an enormous contribution to the strengthening of mutually beneficial bilateral partnership and good neighborhood".

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