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Angela Merkel: Without George H.W. Bush, I wouldn’t be here
German chancellor pays tribute to late US president.
BUENOS AIRES â€” Angela Merkel said Saturday she was mourning former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, recalling that his support for German unification was crucial both for her country and for her own political career.
Merkel grew up in communist East Germany and became a politician only after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
â€œI mourn George Bush, the 41st president of the United States, as the chancellor of the German Federal Republic but also as a German who, without the results of his policies, would hardly be standing here,â€? MerkelÂ told reporters at the G20 summit in Argentina.
Merkel said she was moved by “deep respect for George Bush’s long fulfilled life in the service of his country and also deep gratitude …Â that George Bush recognized and understood our desire for the unity of Germany.”
Bush, who served as 41th U.S. president from 1989 to 1993,Â made “an enormous contribution” to the end of the Cold War andÂ “uniting not only Germany but also Europe, so that arms control could replace arms races,” Merkel said.
During the German reunification process from 1989-1990, Bush was closely involved in negotiations with the German and Soviet leaders of the time, Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev respectively.
“Helmut Kohl could rely on this friend of the Germans in the White House,” Merkel added. “During George Bush’s presidency, we experienced the strength and reliability of German-American friendship, and we will never forget this experience.”
Merkel said that Bush, who died on Friday night at his home in Houston, Texas, was leaving behind “a life’s work that is an incentive: It is worth creating trust and placing trust in the relationship between states.”