SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong have expressed their condolences over the passing of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in letters addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Kohl's widow Maike Kohl-Richter respectively.
Mr Kohl, the architect of Germany’s 1990 reunification and mentor to Ms Merkel, died on Friday at the age of 87.
Mr Lee and ESM Goh’s letters are reproduced below.
Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:
Her Excellency Dr Angela Merkel
Federal Republic of Germany
17 June 2017
Dear Chancellor Merkel,
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mr Kohl was one of the greatest statesmen in his time. He was a true champion of integration. He reunited East and West Germany after the Berlin Wall fell. He was also the architect of the Maastricht Treaty which established the European Union.
He was also a good friend of Singapore, and contributed greatly to the close bilateral ties we enjoy today.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Singapore, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Germany.
LEE HSIEN LOONG
Letter from Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong:
18 June 2017
Mrs Maike Kohl-Richter
Office of Former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl
Dear Mrs Kohl-Richter,
I am saddened and sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved husband, Helmut Kohl.
I had always respected Helmut as a fellow Head of Government and a friend. We met several times when we were in office.
I had visited him in Germany, as well as hosted his visit to Singapore in November 1995. In June 1997, Helmut and I launched the Global Initiative on Sustainable Development in New York, together with the leaders of Brazil and South Africa. We also participated in several ASEM Summits and held bilateral meetings on their sidelines. Our personal ties were warm and our countries’ bilateral ties are strong.
Helmut’s passing is a loss for all of us. I will always cherish our friendship and memories.
GOH CHOK TONG