(MENAFN) Former United States Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henry Kissinger, a towering figure in international diplomacy, breathed his last at the age of 100 on Wednesday. The news of Kissinger's demise was confirmed by his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, stating that he passed away at his Connecticut residence.
Kissinger's illustrious career began after leaving the military when he pursued a PhD at Harvard University and later became President Richard Nixon's top national security adviser in 1969. His influence extended further as he went on to serve as secretary of state under both Nixon and President Gerald Ford.
A skilled negotiator and advocate of realism, Kissinger played a pivotal role in reshaping United States foreign relations during the 1970s. Notably, his diplomatic efforts led to a significant improvement in United States-Soviet relations and laid the groundwork for the normalization of ties between Washington and Beijing. Under Kissinger's guidance, the Nixon administration's relaxation of travel and trade restrictions against China played a crucial role in catalyzing China's ascent as an industrial economy.
In recognition of his diplomatic achievements, Kissinger, alongside diplomat Le Duc Tho, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, a milestone that facilitated the withdrawal of United States forces from Vietnam. In 1974, he contributed to the negotiation of Israel's disengagement agreements with Syria and Egypt, effectively concluding the Yom Kippur War.
Even after leaving office, Kissinger remained an active participant in global affairs, delivering lectures and interviews on world affairs. His engagements included a visit to Beijing in July 2023, where he met with President Xi Jinping. Throughout his post-diplomatic career, Kissinger consistently warned both the United States and China about the risks of potential military confrontation if they continued on their current foreign policy trajectories.
As the world mourns the loss of this diplomatic titan, Kissinger's legacy stands as a testament to his profound impact on international relations and his enduring contributions to shaping the geopolitical landscape.
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