World leaders reacted to the death of Henry Kissinger, a former U.S. secretary of state who influenced geopolitics under two presidents.
Kissinger died Wednesday at 100.
"Deeply shocked and saddened to learn of Dr. Kissinger's passing at 100,” Xie Feng, China’s ambassador to the United States said in a post on X, formerly known as twitter. “My deepest condolences go to Nancy (Kissinger's wife) and her family. It is a tremendous loss for both our countries and the world. The history will remember what the centenarian had contributed to China-U.S. relations, and he will always remain alive in the hearts of the Chinese people as a most valued old friend."
Kissinger made two trips to China before accompanying U.S. President Richard Nixon on his groundbreaking visit to Beijing in 1972 to meet with China’s Communist Party chairman, Mao Zedong. During the visit, the United States and China formalized diplomatic relations after a break of 23 years.
In Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke of Kissinger’s role in Asia, saying he was responsible for "significant contributions" to peace and stability, in a post on X.
Kishida mentioned Kissinger’s work in China and added, “I'd like to express my most sincere respect to the great achievements he made. I also would like to offer my condolences."
European Council President Charles Michel called Kissinger a “strategist with attention to the smallest detail,” in another post on X. He declared him “A kind human and a brilliant mind who, over 100 years, shaped the [destinies] of some of the most important events of the century.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Kissinger “a wise and farsighted statesman,” in a telegram to Kissinger’s widow, Nancy, according to Reuters.
"America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices" on foreign affairs, said former President George W. Bush, striking a tone shared by many high-level officials past and present.
"I have long admired the man who fled the Nazis as a young boy from a Jewish family, then fought them in the United States Army," Bush said in a statement. "When he later became secretary of state, his appointment as a former refugee said as much about his greatness as it did America’s greatness."
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was "in awe" of Kissinger.
"Of course, like anyone who has confronted the most difficult problems of international politics, he was criticized at times, even denounced," Blair said. "But I believe he was always motivated not from a coarse ‘realpolitik,’ but from a genuine love of the free world and the need to protect it. He was a problem solver, whether in respect of the Cold War, the Middle East or China and its rise."
Israeli President Isaac Herzog said as he met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv that Kissinger "laid the cornerstone of the peace agreement, which (was) later signed with Egypt, and so many other processes around the world I admire."
Blinken said Kissinger "really set the standard for everyone who followed in this job" and that he was "very privileged to get his counsel many times, including as recently as about a month ago."
"Few people were better students of history," he said. "Even fewer people did more to shape history than Henry Kissinger."
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on X that "Henry Kissinger was a giant of history. His century of ideas and of diplomacy had a lasting influence on his time and on our world."
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reflected on Kissinger’s impact on the relationship between the U.S. and Germany, his native county. Kissinger was a Jew who fled Nazi rule with his family in his teens.
"His commitment to the transatlantic friendship between the USA and Germany was significant, and he always remained close to his German homeland," Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X.
Some information in this report came from Reuters, Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press.