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Ex U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger dies

Published : 30 Nov 2023, 21:16

Updated : 30 Nov 2023, 21:29

  DF News Desk
This file photo taken on Jan. 29, 2015 shows former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on Global Challenges and the U.S. National Security Strategy in Washington D.C. Photo: Xinhua by Bao Dandan.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday at home in Connecticut at the age of 100, international media reported, quoting a statement issued by Kissinger Associates, Inc.

Kissinger, who played a pivotal and polarising role in US foreign policy during the Cold War and his Realpolitik style made him a controversial figure, with critics accusing him of war crimes when he and President Richard Nixon conducted a bombing campaign against Vietnamese communists in Cambodia, reported British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

And over the years, he was subject to scathing criticism from those who accused him of prioritising rivalry with the Soviet Union over human rights and supporting repressive regimes across the world, including that of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, the BBC added.

As Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford, Dr. Kissinger "played central roles in the opening to China, negotiating the end of the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East, and helping to bring America's role in the Vietnam War to a close," reported Xinhua, quoting the statement.

Born in Germany in 1923, Kissinger was survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, two children by his first marriage, David and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren.

The school teacher's son first came to the US in 1938 when his family fled the Nazis. He never quite lost his native Bavarian accent.

In 1973, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize alongside North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho, who refused to accept, after negotiating the Paris Peace Accords to end US involvement in the Vietnam War, said the BBC report.

The award was bitterly attacked by peace campaigners, and led to two members of the Nobel committee resigning, the report added.