World Leaders Bid their Farewell to Merkel
After 16 years in power, Merkel resigned as chancellor. Here is what world leaders have to say about it, synthesized by Deutsche Welle
Barack Obama: "I was lucky to be her friend"
Merkel has "a good sense of humor, wise pragmatism and a steadfast moral compass," former US President Barack Obama said about the German chancellor. According to him, "so many people - girls and boys, men and women, have an example in her persona that they can turn to in difficult times." And more from Obama: "I was lucky to be her friend."
Joe Biden: "A great friend"
And the current US president seems to appreciate the German chancellor. Joe Biden called her a "great friend, personal friend and friend of the United States," and described her rule as "historic." Merkel gets along much better with Biden than with his predecessor, Donald Trump. But overall, the relationship between them remains rather cool.
Charles Michel: "Compass and a guiding light"
European representatives are vying to praise her. European Council President Charles Michel, for example, said about Merkel last week: "She is a monument. The European Council without Angel is like Rome without the Vatican or Paris without the Eiffel Tower. We will miss her wisdom, especially in difficult times. She is a compass and a guiding light for our European project. "
Jean-Claude Juncker: "A complete work of art"
Few in the EU know Merkel as well as former EC chief Jean-Claude Juncker. He says of her: "To me she is a complete work of art, consisting of many separate parts." In those 16 years, she "did many things right and made no mistake on any important issue."
Emmanuel Macron: "Thank you for the battles" for Europe
He is Angela Merkel's closest partner and ally. Like no other in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron advocates empowering and strengthening ties in the EU - often on the side of a rather hesitant and skeptical German Chancellor. However, Macron wrote on Twitter: "Thank you, dear Angela, for the battles fought in the name of our Europe."
Boris Johnson: "Historical Commitment"
A much more difficult partner of Merkel was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made a significant contribution to Brexit. Nevertheless, during her farewell visit in July, Johnson exchanged courtesies with Merkel. For example, he thanked her for her "historic commitment - not only to German-British relations, but also to world diplomacy."
Tony Blair: "She preserved the unity"
If it was up to Tony Blair, Britain would have stayed in the EU. Former prime minister since Chancellor Merkel's early years said of her today: "It is remarkable that she managed to preserve unity in one of perhaps the most difficult moments for Europe."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "Dear Chancellor and fiend"
Merkel has been often angry with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - not just on human rights. However, he called her his "friend" and "dear chancellor", who he values as an experienced politician who always strives for a "reasonable and solution-oriented" approach. In fact, Merkel has often sought talks with Erdogan, for example on the refugee crisis.
Xi Jinping: "Old Friend of China"
Merkel has always admired China's remarkable rise. It wasn't until the end of her reign that she became more skeptical. Chinese leader Xi Jinping said goodbye to her via video conference and called her an "old friend of China." He has given this dubious honor only to Vladimir Putin, Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe.
Vladimir Putin: "Remarkable achievement"
The words of Russian President Vladimir Putin are quite modest. "She has been at the helm of the country for 16 years, and this is a remarkable achievement," he said recently, when asked if he would miss Merkel. He did not fail to mention that Merkel could have run once again. In a 2007 photo, Putin let his Labrador sniff the chancellor, although he knew full well that she is afraid of dogs.
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