Trump expresses condolences for late German chancellor

Trump expresses condolences for late German chancellor
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President Trump offered his condolences to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Friday following the leader’s death at the age of 87.

“The longest serving Chancellor in modern German history, Chancellor Kohl was a friend and ally to the United States as he led the Federal Republic of Germany through sixteen pivotal years,” the president said in a statement.

“He was not only the father of German reunification, but also an advocate for Europe and the transatlantic relationship. The world has benefited from his vision and efforts. His legacy will live on.”

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Kohl is best known known for playing a pivotal role in reuniting East and West Germany during the Cold War and shaping modern Germany.

“We feel that a life has ended and he who lived it will go down in history,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is a part of Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union party.

“In this moment, I am thinking with great respect and great gratitude on that life and work,” she added.

Kohl’s passing comes as U.S.-German relations have frosted in recent months, with Merkel and Trump sparring over issues such as trade, defense and climate change. Germany has also maintained a tough posture on Russia expanding its influence in Europe.