World reacts to Kissinger death

Agence France-Presse
World reacts to Kissinger death
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens while he is introduced at a ceremony honoring his diplomatic career on May 9, 2016 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, a key figure of American diplomacy in the post-World War II era, died November 29, 2023 at the age of 100, his association said.
AFP / Brendan Smialowski

WASHINGTON, United States — Henry Kissinger, the instantly recognizable US diplomat whose unapologetic promotion of raw American power helped shape the post-World War II world, died Wednesday, his consulting firm said. He was 100.

Here is a round-up of reactions from governments and world leaders.

United States

Current Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed Kissinger for his strategic vision as the top US diplomat under president Richard Nixon and his successor Gerald Ford.

"To serve as America's chief diplomat today is to move through a world that bears Henry's lasting imprint -- from the relationships he forged, to the tools he pioneered, to the architecture he built," Blinken said.

At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin highlighted Kissinger's army service in World War II, when he deployed to Germany, the country of his birth.

"Dr Kissinger led an extraordinary American life," Austin said.

President Joe Biden has yet to comment directly.


Beijing's foreign ministry praised the late diplomat for his "historic contributions" to Sino-American ties, describing him as an "old and good friend of the Chinese people."

Kissinger, who met in July with President Xi Jinping in Beijing, "had long been concerned about and supported the development of China-US relations, visiting China more than 100 times and making historic contributions to promote the normalization of China-US relations," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.


Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Kissinger for his contribution to US-Soviet relations and described him as a "wise and visionary statesman."

"Henry Kissinger's name is inextricably linked with his pragmatic foreign policy, which in its time paved the way for a detente in international tensions and made it possible to reach the most important Soviet-American agreements that contributed to strengthening global security," Putin said in a Kremlin statement.

United Nations 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "saddened" to learn of Kissinger's passing, according to spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

"As a prominent figure in international relations during the late 20th century, few diplomats in living memory have had a greater influence on international affairs than Dr. Kissinger," Dujarric said.


Kissinger was a "giant of history," French President Emmanuel Macron said, offering France's "condolences to the American people."

Kissinger's "century of ideas and diplomacy had a long-standing influence on his time and on our world," Macron posted on X, formerly Twitter.

United Kingdom 

"Most saddened to hear that Henry Kissinger has passed away," UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron wrote on X.

"He was a great statesman and a deeply respected diplomat who will be greatly missed on the world stage."


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hailed the late US diplomat, who as a 15-year-old fled Nazi Germany for American shores, for his "commitment to the transatlantic friendship."

"He always remained close to his German homeland. The world has lost a great diplomat," Scholz wrote on X.


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hailed Kissinger's "significant contributions" to peace and stability in Asia.

Kissinger "made significant contributions to the regional peace and stability, including the normalization of diplomatic ties between the US and China," Kishida told reporters.


Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kissinger would leave a lasting impact and "intellectual legacy" on international politics. 

"The century of Henry Kissinger was no easy one, but its great challenges fit his great and curious mind. He changed its pace and the face of diplomacy," Kuleba said in English on social media.


Kissinger drew fierce criticism from some quarters, especially over his apparent disregard for democratic values.

He stood accused of supporting Chile's 1973 coup which overthrew democratically elected president Salvador Allende, bringing years of autocratic rule under general Augusto Pinochet.

Kissinger was a man "whose historical brilliance never managed to conceal his moral wretchedness," Chile's ambassador to Washington, Juan Gabriel Valdes, wrote on X.

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