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German leaders pay tribute to Helmut Kohl at Berlin Mass

Germany's leaders have paid tribute to former chancellor Helmut Kohl, who spearheaded the country's reunification during 16 years at the helm, in a requiem Mass at Berlin's Roman Catholic cathedral.

The parliamentary caucus of Mr Kohl's conservative party organised Tuesday's service at St Hedwig cathedral.

The current party leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among the guests.

Mr Kohl died on June 16 aged 87.

There will not be an official state funeral in Germany. The main event will be an official memorial at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Saturday, reflecting his commitment to European unification.

Mr Kohl's death has highlighted deep rifts in his family.

News agency dpa reported that prelate Karl Juesten said in his sermon: "We all wish that they find reconciliation and peace with each other."

AP

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