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Henry Kissinger at an event in 2015

Photo: Jason Lee / REUTERS

Following the death of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has emphasised his importance for relations between Germany and the US. "Henry Kissinger shaped American foreign policy like few others," Scholz wrote in X. "His commitment to the transatlantic friendship between the United States and Germany was significant." Kissinger, who was born in Franconia in 1923, has always remained connected to his German homeland, Scholz added. "The world is losing a special diplomat."

Kissinger died on Wednesday at the age of 100 at his home in the state of Connecticut. Kissinger is considered one of the greatest diplomats of the 20th century. He was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger in Franconia in 1923. When he was 15 years old, his Jewish parents fled with him to New York. One of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's successes was the rapprochement between the United States and China in the early <>s. But his career also had its downsides. Critics accused him of unscrupulousness and obsession with power.

Steinmeier: Kissinger laid "the foundation for the end of the Cold War and for democratic change in Eastern Europe"

"With Henry Kissinger, we have lost an impressive man with an incredible life story: the contemporary witness of a century, the driving intellectual force of US foreign policy for many decades, the guardian of transatlantic relations," German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a press release. Steinmeier paid tribute to Kissinger's clear language and fearless diplomacy.

With his policy of détente and disarmament, the diplomat had laid "the foundation for the end of the Cold War and for democratic change in Eastern Europe." Steinmeier called it a very special honor to call Kissinger a friend. "With your husband, we have lost a great fighter for freedom and democracy," he wrote to Kissinger's wife, Nancy Sharon Kissinger, and the family of the deceased.

"With the death of Henry Kissinger, America has lost one of the most reliable and distinctive voices in foreign policy," said former U.S. President George W. Bush. Kissinger had worked in the administrations of two U.S. presidents and advised many more, Bush wrote. Kissinger was one of his advisers. "I am grateful for this service and advice, but I am most grateful for his friendship."

He had long admired Kissinger, who fled the Nazis as a boy and then fought them in the U.S. Army, Bush wrote. "Laura and I will miss his wisdom, charm and humour. And we will always be grateful for Henry Kissinger's contributions."

Relations with Israel

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said: "My deepest condolences to the American people and the family of Henry Kissinger. I had the privilege of meeting Henry a few times. A kind person with a brilliant mind. A strategist who focused his attention on the smallest details."

Kissinger had a special relationship with China. In the 1970s, the then US Secretary of State had traveled there to improve relations between the countries. To this day, Kissinger has not been forgotten.

China's President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to US President Joe Biden. Kissinger last traveled to China in July and met with Xi there. Kissinger will be remembered for his sincere devotion to the relationship between the two countries, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

China's ambassador to the U.S., Xie Feng, tweeted that Kissinger's death was "a great loss for both our countries and the world." History will remember what the centenarian did for Sino-American relations, Xie wrote. "He will always live on in the hearts of the Chinese people as a cherished old friend."