The following is a statement from former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, honorary chair of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, on former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who died today.
“Germany has lost one of its greatest leaders, the United States has lost one of its best friends and the world has lost a ringing voice for freedom. More than anyone at the end of the Cold War, Chancellor Helmut Kohl was the architect of the reunification of Germany, a historic event that brought freedom to millions and has helped make Europe safer and more prosperous. Together with his close personal friend, President George H.W. Bush, he convinced the world to put East and West Germany back together as a member of NATO almost a half century after the division of Europe following World War II. The world can be extremely grateful that this visionary leader and great man has walked among us.”
Baker was the nation’s 61st secretary of state, from 1989 to 1992.Kohl visited Rice University in 1990 for the 16th G7 Summit, which was held on campus July 9-11 and featured the leaders of the richest industrialized countries, including France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. He also visited the Baker Institute Oct.1 2003 to give a speech on transatlantic relations.
Media note: Baker is not available for interviews.Photo caption: James A. Baker III, left, and Helmut Kohl participated in a discussion at the Baker Institute Oct. 1, 2003. (Courtesy of Rice’s Baker Institute)
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