The Latest: Trump hails Kohl as friend, ally, EU advocate

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The latest on the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose legacy includes a reuniting Germany after the Cold War and helping to create the continent's common currency, the euro. (all times local):

3:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump says Helmut Kohl was a "friend and ally" to the United States as he led Germany through 16 pivotal years. In a statement, Trump says Kohl is "not only the father of German reunification, but also an advocate for Europe and the trans-Atlantic relationship."

He says the world has benefited from his vision and efforts.

Trump adds: "His legacy will live on."

The former German chancellor died Friday at 87.


1:15 a.m.

The head of the International Monetary Fund is expressing sadness at the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says Kohl was a visionary who worked to build "a peaceful and prosperous Europe."

In a statement, Lagarde says: "It is impossible to imagine a unified Germany without Helmut Kohl's unshakeable commitment to building bridges between the East and West. His name will forever be associated with the deepening of the European Union and the creation of the common European currency."


10:10 p.m.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has paid homage to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl as an "outstanding person who will leave a prominent mark on German, European and world history."

Former Soviet Union President Gorbachev was in power when Kohl oversaw the reunification of East and West Germany.

Gorbachev on Friday sent a message of condolences released by his foundation.

He says "it was real luck that at that difficult time leading nations were headed by statesmen with a sense of responsibility, adamant about defending the interests of their countries but also able to consider the interests of others, able to overcome the barrier of prevailing suspicion about partnership and mutual trust."

Gorbachev says "the names of this outstanding German politician will stay in the memory of his compatriots and all Europeans."


10 p.m.

Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker says Helmut Kohl's death means "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."

Baker, who served as America's top diplomat from 1989 to 1992, said Kohl "more than anyone at the end of the Cold War (...) was the architect of the reunification of Germany."

In a statement Friday, Baker said the undoing the decades-long division of Germany had "brought freedom to millions and has helped make Europe safer and more prosperous."

Baker said Kohl and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush "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."

Kohl died Friday at 87.


9:30 p.m.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres learned "with great sadness" of the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who "helped set a course for the historic process of Europe's political and economic integration."

Guterres said Kohl played "an instrumental role" in Germany's peaceful reunification and "today's Europe is a product of his vision and his tenacity, in the face of enormous obstacles."

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, extends his condolences to Kohl's family and the government and the people of Germany.

Kohl, 87, died Friday at his home in Ludwigshafen, Germany.


8:45 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was "one of the great men of Europe and the free world" and that he "forged the unity of Europe" with former French President Francois Mitterrand.

In a statement Friday, Macron's office said: "A reformer, a visionary and a unifier, Helmut Kohl marked our collective history."

Macron added that Europe's open borders, shared euro currency and the beginnings of collective European defense "owe a lot to Helmut Kohl."

Kohl died Friday at age 87.


8:15 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered Russia's condolences on the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

In a message Friday on the Kremlin's website, Putin credited Kohl for "playing a key role in putting an end to the Cold War and the reunification of Germany."

In the message to Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Putin says "I genuinely admired his wisdom, his ability to make balanced, far-reaching decisions even in the most difficult situations."

He says Kohl "will be remembered in Russia as a staunch advocate of a friendly relationship between our countries."

Putin was a KGB officer in communist East Germany when Kohl spearheaded the reunification of East Germany and West Germany.

Kohl died Friday at 87.


8 p.m.

Martin Schulz, the Social Democratic Party's challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany's September election, says despite their political differences, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl deserves "respect and recognition" for his accomplishments.

Schulz said Friday that Kohl, under whom Merkel served as a cabinet minister, was a "great European" who had forged a historic path for Germany and Europe.

He says "Helmut Kohl was the chancellor of German reunification; in 1989 it was thanks to his spirit, his political courage and his leadership that the restoration of German unity was made possible."

Schulz says "Kohl's vision of a European Germany, which guided this great statesman in the reunification just as much as the Treaty of Maastricht, is a legacy to the German nation and to all of Europe."

Kohl died Friday at age 87.


7:50 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the death of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl means that Israel has lost one of its "greatest friends."

Netanyahu said in a statement Friday that "Kohl was the leader who united Germany with a determined and steady hand."

He says "among the State of Israel's greatest friends, he was completely dedicated to its security."

Netanyahu says he sends "condolences to the Kohl family and to the German people."

Kohl, known for presiding over the unification of Germany after the Berlin Wall fell, died Friday at age 87.


7:45 p.m.

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush says he is mourning "the loss of a true friend of freedom" in former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, remembering how they worked together to help bring an end to the Cold War.

Bush said in a statement Friday that he considered Kohl "one of the greatest leaders in post-war Europe."

He says Kohl "hated war, but he detested totalitarianism even more" and so devoted his life to strengthening democracy in West Germany.

He says "working closely with my very good friend to help achieve a peaceful end to the Cold War and the unification of Germany within NATO will remain one of the great joys of my life. Throughout our endeavors, Helmut was a rock — both steady and strong."

Kohl died Friday at age 87.


7:25 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Helmut Kohl was "the right man at the right time" when the winds of change began sweeping through Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

Merkel says Kohl understood that there was a "historic chance" to overcome Germany's decades-long division and seized it.

Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor who reunified a nation divided by the Cold War, died Friday at 87.

Speaking in Rome late Friday, Merkel said her predecessor's skillful statesmanship won over Germany's neighbors and ensured a peaceful reunification.

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, said her own life had changed markedly because of Kohl's actions, for which she was deeply grateful.


7 p.m.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was "a great statesman, a great German politician and most of all, a great European."

Gabriel said in a statement Friday that Kohl "did a lot not just to make German reunification happen, but also for European integration."

Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, died Friday at 87.


5:48 p.m.

Helmut Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, has died at 87.

Kohl's Christian Democratic Union party posted on Twitter: "We are in sorrow. #RIP #HelmutKohl."

The daily newspaper Bild reported that Kohl died Friday at his home in Ludwigshafen.

Over his 16 years at the country's helm from 1982 to 1998 — first for West Germany and then for all of a united Germany — Kohl combined a dogged pursuit of European unity with a keen instinct for history. Less than a year after the November 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, he spearheaded the end of Germany's decades-long division into East and West, ushering in a new era in European politics.