Sunday, November 08, 2009

World leaders line up to mark fall of Berlin Wall

Guess which "world leader" won't be there.
BERLIN (Reuters) - World leaders past and present will join German crowds on Monday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall -- a stark symbol of the Cold War that divided a city and a continent.

Recollections of November 9, 1989 dominated German newspaper headlines over the weekend, and television stations ran program after program of documentary footage, eyewitness accounts and discussion panels about the event that changed the face of Europe.

"There has scarcely been an historical watershed so radical and so immediately visible as November 9, 1989," the Koelnische Rundschau daily wrote in an editorial.


Pivotal figures from the era that ushered in the collapse of communism in eastern Europe, such as ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa, who led anti-communist protests in Poland at the head of the Solidarity trade union, will take part in commemorative events around the once-divided capital on Monday.

Joining them will be the leaders of the nations which occupied postwar Germany, apart from the United States, which will be represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are all due to attend the celebrations hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, amid a series of bilateral meetings.

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