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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Visit to Gaza
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle(2L) arrives for a visit UNRWA elementary school in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on November 08, 2010. Westerwelle is in the coastal Palestinian territory to formally launch a German-funded sewage project and to meet with local business leaders before heading home. UPI/Ismael Mohamad
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Guido Westerwelle ] (born December 27, 1961) is a German liberal politician, who, since 28 October 2009, has been serving as the Foreign Minister in the second cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and who was Vice Chancellor of Germany from 2009 to 2011. He is the first openly gay person to hold either of those positions. He has been the chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) since May 2001, but stepped down in 2011. A lawyer by profession, he has been a member of the Bundestag since 1996.

Guido Westerwelle was born in Bad Honnef in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. He graduated from Ernst Moritz Arndt Gymnasium in 1980 after academic struggles resulted in his departure from previous institutions where he was considered an average student at best, but substandard otherwise. He studied law at the University of Bonn from 1980 to 1987. Following the First and Second State Law Examinations in 1987 and 1991 respectively, he began practicing as an attorney in Bonn in 1991. In 1994, he earned a doctoral degree in law from FernUniversität Hagen. Today, he is frank about his homosexuality and lives with his partner, Michael Mronz. Until 2004 he was not openly gay, although it was fairly common knowledge in the general public.

Westerwelle joined the FDP in 1980. He was a founding member of the Junge Liberale, the youth organization of that party, and was its chairman from 1983 to 1988.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Guido Westerwelle."
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