Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (24 August) issued the following statement on the death of Walter Scheel:
I am saddened by the death of Walter Scheel.
The staff of the Federal Foreign Office and I mourn the passing of a former Foreign Minister.
A long life well spent ended today.
Walter Scheel will be remembered as a great politician of the young Federal Republic of Germany’s first decades.
Walter Scheel decisively shaped the foreign policy of our country in difficult times – with an iron curtain running straight through divided Germany – as Foreign Minister and as Federal President.
Walter Scheel was one of the architects of Germany’s “Ostpolitik” in the SPD/FDP coalition government headed by Willy Brandt. Walter Scheel helped negotiate and bring through parliament not only the treaties with the Soviet Union and with Poland, but also the other Eastern Treaties. All of these are historic milestones of Germany’s policy of détente, which ultimately led to reunification and to an end of the division of Europe.
Walter Scheel rendered great service to our country.
We are grateful to him for many decades of tireless dedication to peace and freedom. His memory will be revered.