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Obama team mulling speech at Brandenburg Gate

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Obama team mulling speech at Brandenburg Gate
Photo: DPA
12:03 CEST+02:00
Democratic US presidential candidate Barack Obama has requested permission to give an address at the Brandenburg Gate when he visits Berlin later this month, according to German media reports.

Although it's still not official, various German media are reporting that Obama's team has contacted the Berlin Senate to discuss the possibility of the presidential hopeful delivering an outdoor speech in front of the famous landmark. It would likely be his only public speech during an upcoming European tour which is set to include stops in Germany, France and the UK.

If permission is granted, the address would be loaded with historical significance. The Brandenburg Gate is where former US President Ronald Regan gave a famous speech in 1987, during which he asked then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall.

Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have expressed interest in meeting Obama, although dates for his visit have not yet been confirmed.

Obama is immensely popular in Berlin – a factor that appears to have some of his advisors worried. According to reports in the daily Berliner Morgenpost, some of his staff have warned him that excessive popularity in Europe could end up costing him votes at home, as was the case with 2004 presidential candidate, John Kerry.

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