Kohl meets with Rice for talks on German politics
26 May 2005, WASHINGTON - Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl met with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday in Washington to discuss recent political developments in Germany.
26 May 2005
WASHINGTON - Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl met with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday in Washington to discuss recent political developments in Germany.
The previously scheduled visit came three days after Kohl's successor, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, surprised political allies and opponents by calling early elections after his Social Democrats (SPD) took a beating in a state election.
US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the meeting was a chance to meet "with the senior German statesmen about political developments in Germany".
"Obviously, that's gotten interesting since the meeting was originally scheduled," Boucher said.
Kohl, who did not take questions from reporters outside the State Department after he left the meeting, was also scheduled to meet with President George W. Bush on Thursday at the White House.
Boucher said Rice and Kohl were also to discuss Eastern European efforts to build democratic institutions.
Schroeder won election in 1998, ending Kohl's 16-year tenure as Germany's leader, during which time the Berlin Wall fell and East and West Germany were united.
Schroeder on Sunday called for elections in September - one year earlier than scheduled - after Kohl's Christian Democrats (CDU) won big in the industrial heartland state of North Rhine-Westphalia in what was the latest in a series of state election debacles for the SPD.
Schroeder is widely blamed for his country's 12-per-cent unemployment rate and sagging economy.
Subject: German news