Habibie attends funeral of Helmut Schmidt

London (ANTARA News) - Prof. Dr. Ing. BJ Habibie on behalf of the Indonesian government, attended the funeral of Helmut Schmidt, who served as chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982, and died on Nov. 10 at the age of 96.

Habibie, Indonesias third president, joined a total of 1,800 guests attending Helmut Schmidts state funeral at the St. Michaelis church in Schmidts native Hamburg, Germany, Indonesian Consul for Information and Social-Cultural Affairs in Hamburg, Indri Rasad, told ANTARA corespondent in London, Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Indonesian Consul General in Hamburg Sylvia Arifin in the funeral.

Habibie, who had lived, studied and worked in Germany for years, considers Helmut Schmidt as a best friend, and an intellectual role model, idol, and father.

He became close to Helmut Schmidt when he worked in an aircraft manufacturer company in Hamburg. Their friendship lasted for some 40 years.

Among dignitaries present in the funeral were President of the European Union Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz, President of ECB Mario Draghi, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz were also present in the funeral.

Habibie was minister of research and technology and later vice president during the Soeharto administration.(*)