16:59 GMT +320 March 2018
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    Germany's former Chancellor Helmut Kohl attends a stamp unveiling ceremony during a reception in Berlin. (File)

    Europe to Bid Farewell to German Reunification Chancellor Helmut Kohl

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    European political heavyweights will gather in the French city of Strasbourg on Saturday to take part in a farewell ceremony for Germany’s reunification chancellor Helmut Kohl.

    STRASBOURG (Sputnik) — Kohl, the longest-serving chancellor in the nation’s post-war history, passed away at the age of 87 on June 16 in his hometown of Ludwigshafen in western Germany.

    At least 40 dignitaries – from across Europe but also from the United States – will come to the European Parliament building in France ahead of Kohl’s funeral in Germany.

    European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, European Council’s Donald Tusk and European Commission’s Jean-Claude Juncker will address the gathering.

    Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and former US President Bill Clinton are also expected to speak.

    After the ceremony, the body of the German visionary politician will be airlifted to his hometown and then by boat to the Rhine town of Speyer a few miles south of Ludwigshafen, where he will be interred.

    Helmut Kohl will be remembered for his role as the architect of German reunification in 1990 and a staunch advocate of European unity. He headed the German government from 1982 to 1998.


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