Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (18 March) on the death of his predecessor Guido Westerwelle:
"The death of Guido Westerwelle fills us with profound grief. Today, we have lost someone who, for a whole generation, shaped our country – as Chairman of the FDP, as leader of the opposition and then as Foreign Minister. Guido Westerwelle was a politician with heart and soul. He never shied away when the going got tough, remaining true to his convictions even in difficult times.
While we were not always of the same opinion – neither in domestic politics nor in foreign policy – we could always rely on each other. He kept unflinchingly to his word, even when that meant sparks flying in the political debate. I therefore held Guido Westerwelle in the very highest regard. He had real backbone and always remained true to his core values.
Guido Westerwelle stands for an open-minded, liberal Germany that is firmly anchored in the international community. Through his efforts in the service of a peaceful and civil Germany and Europe, he proved himself to be a true patriot.
Guido Westerwelle was always a fighter – even in his last fight, which he has lost today. He gave a great many people courage and strength by allowing the public to share in that struggle.
My thoughts and condolences are with his husband Michael Mronz and all his loved ones. We would like to wish them strength and solace at this difficult time.
We, and all of Germany, shall miss Guido Westerwelle."