Ex-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl dies

But after losing an election in 1976 and then sitting out the next one in 1980 in favour of another CDU candidate, it was not until 1982 after a party left the ruling coalition that Mr Kohl became German Chancellor, a role he would play for the next 16 years.Gabriel said in a statement Friday that Kohl “did a lot not just to make German reunification happen, but also for European integration”.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Kohl was “the embodiment of a united Germany in a united Europe”.”Helmut’s death hurts me deeply”, European Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said in a Twitter post.Helmut Kohl – the colossal figure of postwar German politics who served as Chancellor for 16 years and oversaw the reunification of his country – has died at the age of 87.Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called Kohl “a great German and a great European”.Kohl would continue to steer the newly unified Germany for much of the 1990s, helping to assure its place at the heart of another vast project of integration: the European Union.”It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of former chancellor Helmut Kohl“, she said.Tributes poured in for the man former United States president George HW Bush hailed as “one of the greatest” postwar leaders, and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker called the “very essence of Europe”.”On behalf of the people of Ireland I wish to convey our deepest sympathies to his family and to the people of Germany”, said Mr Higgins.Reunification was consummated with the dissolution of communist East Germany.”Throughout our endeavours, Helmut was a rock – both steady and strong”.Kohl’s first attempt to unseat Social Democratic Chancellor Helmut Schmidt failed in 1976, but Kohl seized his chance six years later, taking power on October 1, 1982 when a junior coalition party switched sides.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Kohl as a “friend of Israel” who was “fully committed” to the security of the Jewish state.Maybe, Kohl’s career should be viewed in two capacities: “before reunification and after reunification”, Rahr said while aired on the Rossiya-24 TV channel.Former US President George H.W. Bush said in a statement that working with Kohl “to achieve a peaceful end to the Cold War and the unification of Germany within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will remain one of the great joys of my life”.”When the Berlin Wall fell, he rose to the occasion, a true European”.”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”, he said.As the Cold War ended with the Berlin Wall coming down in November 1989, he moved to “grab the mantle of history“, as he later said, forging a political stature commensurate with his towering height.Helmut Kohl remarried in 2008, seven years after his first wife, Hannelore, took her own life after suffering from a rare allergy to daylight.