The death of Klaus Kinkel leaves us deeply saddened. He shaped German foreign policy during a time of political upheaval on the international stage, when the reunited sovereign Germany was facing major new challenges: the conflict in the Western Balkans, the first Bundeswehr missions abroad, the transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, the Maastricht Treaty. Klaus Kinkel played an instrumental role in this reunited Germany finding its place in the world and living in peace and with respect among its neighbours.
The Federal Foreign Office still bears the stamp of Kinkel’s term of office. With the creation of the European Directorate General and the Directorate General for the United Nations, he ensured that the Federal Foreign Office had the capacity to tackle the increased challenges it faced. The development of the UN location in Bonn also remains associated with the name of Klaus Kinkel.
Even in difficult times, Klaus Kinkel stood up for his convictions. He had real backbone and always remained true to his core values. He stood for an open minded, liberal Germany, firmly anchored in the international community.
My thoughts and my sympathy are with his family, friends and companions. I wish them strength and comfort at this difficult time.
We, and all of Germany, shall miss Klaus Kinkel.