Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Ex-Secretary ;American state minister Henry Kissinger is dead

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From the Vietnam War to the bombings in Cambodia, the legacy of former American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is tainted by several scandals .

Agence France-Presse

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Henry Kissinger, great figure in American diplomacy with sometimes controversial facets, who was Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, died at the age of 100, his organization announced in a statement on Wednesday.

A key player in global diplomacy during the Cold War, Mr. Kissinger died today in his home in Connecticut, the same source said. If Henry Kissinger initiated the rapprochement with Moscow and Beijing, his image also remains linked to sulphurous episodes, such as the 1973 coup d'état in Chile.

A sign of the aura and influence of the man who directed the foreign policy of Presidents Nixon and Ford, this little man with a gravelly voice and a strong German accent was, despite his great age, still recently consulted by the entire political class and received throughout the world by heads of state or for conferences.

The latest example, in July, he went to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, who praised a legendary diplomat for having allowed the rapprochement in the 1970s between China and the United States.< /p>

No one had as much impact on American foreign policy in the second half of the 20th century as this formidable negotiator, as touchy as he was authoritarian.

Both a pragmatic initiator of an American Realpolitik and a true hawk, Henry Kissinger is one of those complex characters who attract admiration or hatred.

Nazism had a profound impact on the young German Jew Heinz Alfred Kissinger, born May 27, 1923 in Fürth in Bavaria, who had to take refuge in the United States at the age of 15 -United with his family. Naturalized American at the age of 20, this son of a schoolteacher joined military counter-espionage and the American army, which he followed to Europe as a German interpreter.

After the Second World War, eager to resume his studies, he entered Harvard where he graduated with a degree in international relations before teaching there and becoming one of its directors. It was at this time that Democratic Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson began to regularly take the advice of this brilliant and ambitious professor.

But the man with the thick frame of glasses established himself as the face of global diplomacy when Republican Richard Nixon called him to the White House in 1969 as national security adviser , then as Secretary of State – he held the two positions from 1973 to 1975, and remained in Foreign Affairs under Gerald Ford until 1977.

It was then that he initiated an American Realpolitik, launching détente with the Soviet Union and the thaw of relations with Mao's China, during secret trips to organize Nixon's historic visit to Beijing in 1972.

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US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (right) with President Richard Nixon and alongside the bombings of Hanoi, negotiations with Le Duc Tho to end the Vietnam War.

Signing a ceasefire earned him the Nobel Peace Prize with North Vietnam in 1973. But Duc Tho refused the award, one of the most controversial in history. of the Nobel.

On the contrary, Kissinger's detractors have long called for his trial for war crimes.

They denounce the more sulfurous and less open side of his foreign policy, and in particular his involvement in the massive bombings in Cambodia or his support for Indonesian President Suharto whose invasion of East Timor led to 200,000 deaths in 1975. p>

But it is above all the role of the CIA in Latin America, often under its direct leadership, which tarnishes its image, starting with the coup x27;State of 1973 in Chile which brought Augusto Pinochet to power after the death of Salvador Allende. Over the years, the archives have revealed the contours and extent of the Condor Plan for the elimination of opponents of the South American dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s.

Despite these episodes, the author of The Order of the World in 2014, father of two children and married since 1974 in a second marriage to the philanthropist Nancy Maginnes, has always remained influential.

In January 2023, he pleaded for continued support for Ukraine, which he believed should join the #x27;NATO.

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