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Kissinger remembers Ford as world leader

Jan. 2, 2007 at 2:53 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Henry Kissinger, who served U.S. President Gerald Ford as secretary of state, remembered him Tuesday for his foreign policy achievements.

Kissinger gave one of four eulogies at Ford's state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral. He said that Ford had "the virtues of small-town America -- sincerity, serenity and integrity."

"As it turned out, the absence of glibness and his artless decency became a political asset, fostering an unusual closeness to leaders around the world which continued long after he left office," Kissinger continued.

Kissinger said that Ford completed the opening of the U.S. relationship with China, presided over the final act of the Vietnam War and helped broker the first agreement between Egypt and Israel.

"Few will dispute that the Cold War could not have been won had not Gerald Ford emerged at a tragic period to restore equilibrium to America and confidence in its triumphs," he said.

In an apparent dig at President Richard Nixon, who brought Kissinger to Washington and appointed him to the Cabinet, Kissinger said that Ford, after he left the White House had "no obsessive pursuit of his place in history."

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