Willkommen auf den Seiten des Auswärtigen Amts
-- es gilt das gesprochene Wort --
Sehr geehrter Herr Generalsekretär,
sehr geehrte Frau Bundeskanzlerin,
sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen,
willkommen im großen Saal des Hotel Adlon.
This building did not exist, when the Berlin wall was torn down in November 1989. Nor did any other building. For decades, Paris square was a blank and empty space. The Berlin Wall stood at the other side of Brandenburg Gate. Soldiers patrolled the no-mans-land right where we stand tonight.
Where East and West once stood in confrontation, we now stand as partners and friends.
Cooperation may be hard work. But anyone familiar with the consequences of confrontation knows that cooperation is worth every effort.
Here at Paris square, the wounds of war have healed. The centre of Berlin could not have grown into such a lively spot without our partners and friends. We will always remember their great effort and support for German unity.
Today, we have discussed the way forward in Libya and in Afghanistan. I am looking forward to continuing our exchange later today and tomorrow.
It is a great honour for my country to be NATO’s host. Chancellor Angela Merkel and I share a deep commitment to NATO and our transatlantic partnership.
I am full of gratitude to the Secretary-General and his entire team for having cooperated and contributed so much in preparing this event.