Queen Elizabeth II: Reunified Germany is now our partner and friend

From a speech given by the British head of state at a banquet in the Zeughaus, Berlin
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The Independent Online

Berlin symbolises the remarkable achievement of German reunification; the British contribution to your skyline also symbolises the reconciliation between our two countries.

Berlin symbolises the remarkable achievement of German reunification; the British contribution to your skyline also symbolises the reconciliation between our two countries.

Stereotypes wither in the face of human contact, and we should continue to encourage our young people to know more about each other's countries. I am pleased that our two governments are actively looking at new ways to promote these contacts. As part of this, young Germans may realise that one legacy of Britain's history is our diversity; we regard it as a strength. We believe the same is true for the European Union. Britain and Germany have long advocated enlargement of the Union, as vital for Europe's prosperity and security. Both our countries also recognise that Europe's enlargement alone will not guarantee our future prosperity; we need to find new ways to ensure that Europe remains competitive. I look forward to seeing how we are working together in the fields of commerce, science and technology to achieve this.

At a global level, one new and urgent challenge we face together is climate change. I am pleased that Britain and Germany are leaders in Europe on this issue. The presentation I saw by young British and German students today underscored how important this issue is to the next generation.

This is what our 21st century relationship means, working together in friendship - instinctively, quietly and effectively - in our common interests and for our children's future.

I hope that my visit helps us all to recognise it. And speaking for myself as I have witnessed in my own lifetime our progress from war to peace, from partnership to friendship, I believe we should celebrate it too.

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