Berlin mayor to Trump: ‘Don’t build this wall!’
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Berlin mayor to Trump: ‘Don’t build this wall!’

Michael Mueller compares wall that cut his city in half until 1990 and barrier US plans to build along Mexican border

A truck drives near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (AP/Christian Torres)
A truck drives near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (AP/Christian Torres)

BERLIN, Germany — The mayor of Germany’s long-divided capital Berlin, Michael Mueller, on Friday offered some advice to US President Donald Trump: “Don’t build this wall!”

The billionaire-president, holding true to his campaign promise, this week ordered US officials to begin to design and construct a wall along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) US-Mexico border.

While the White House has also threatened to tax Mexican imports to cover its cost, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled a planned visit to Washington in protest.

Berlin’s mayor said his city — which was split by the Berlin Wall during the Cold War from 1961-89 — “cannot look on without comment when a country plans to build a new wall.”

“We Berliners know best how much suffering was caused by the division of an entire continent with barbed wire and concrete,” he said in a statement, referring to Europe’s “Iron Curtain” division.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller in 2016 (YouTube screenshot)
Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller in 2016 (YouTube screenshot)

In the early 21st century, he said, “we can’t just accept it if our historical experience is disregarded by those to whom we largely owe our freedom, the Americans.”

Pointing to the ongoing division of the Korean peninsula and the island of Cyprus, the Social Democrat urged Trump “not to go down this wrong path of isolation and exclusion”.

Mueller also recalled former US president Ronald Reagan’s famous 1987 challenge to then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!”, and said in his message to Trump: “Dear Mr President, don’t build this wall!”

Activists from Greenpeace display a message reading "Mr. President, walls divide. Build Bridges!" along the Berlin wall in Berlin on January 20, 2017 to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)
Activists from Greenpeace display a message reading “Mr. President, walls divide. Build Bridges!” along the Berlin wall in Berlin on January 20, 2017 to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. (AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL)
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