World / Europe

Merkel calls for mutual respect during German reunification celebrations

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-04 07:16

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for mutual respect and openness to dialogue on the sidelines of the celebrations to mark the Day of German Unity on Monday in the eastern German city of Dresden.

Merkel calls for mutual respect during German reunification celebrations


Bundesrat President Stanislaw Tillich, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Joachim Gauck (LtoR) arrive near Frauenkirche cathedral for celebrations marking the German Unification Day in Dresden, Germany, October 3, 2016.   [Photo/Agencies]

Twenty-six years after the reunification of Germany, the Day of German Unity is still a day of joy and gratitude for the vast majority of Germans, said the chancellor, but added that there were also new problems.

"I personally wish that we solve these problems together, with mutual respect, in the acceptance of very different political opinions, and that we also find good solutions," said Merkel.

Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag, pleaded in his speech for more optimism in the country.

The country is faced with challenges "which we must and can cope with," emphasized Lammert in front of about 1,000 invited guests.

At the same time, he also urged people to meet "the minimum demands of civilization" in the political and social debate, which includes respect, tolerance, respect for rule of law, freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

Saxony Minister-President Stanislaw Tillich said that words should not be allowed to cross certain boundaries.

"We are embarrassed to see that words can spark hatred and violence," said Tillich at the ceremony on Monday.
Tillich said in his speech: "We must all ensure that the dangerous seeds, including those of populism, do not take root."

Dresden hosted the central celebrations for the Day of German Unity this year. Some 750,000 visitors are expected to attend the celebrations this year under the motto "Building bridges."


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