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Germany's Kohl hails Thatcher's love of freedom, honesty

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Germany's ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl praised British former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday, for her "love of freedom" and honesty.

"I greatly valued Margaret Thatcher for her love of freedom, her incomparable openness, honesty and straightforwardness," Kohl, considered the father of Germany's 1990 reunification, said in a written statement.

Kohl, 83, who governed Germany for a record 16 years, said fellow conservative Thatcher was "an upstanding fighter and representative of the interests of her country."

He referred to their "special relationship", adding "we always had our ups and downs. And despite all the different opinions on many an issue, we had however until the end, above all, a respectful rapport."

Kohl was a driving force behind European enlargement and integration in the years after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 leading to German reunification which Thatcher initially vehemently opposed.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130408/germanys-kohl-hails-thatchers-love-freedom-honesty-0