Britain, Germany stand united with Ukraine, says King Charles


The British Union Jack was flapping alongside the German and European Union flags along Berlin’s central Unter den Linden avenue, which leads to the Brandenburg Gate…reports Asian Lite News

Britain and Germany stand united with Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s unprovoked invasion, Charles III said in Berlin on Wednesday during his first foreign visit as king.

At a state banquet hosted by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the monarch underlined both countries’ commitment to “protecting and advancing shared democratic values”.

“This is epitomised so clearly today as we stand together with Ukraine in defence of freedom and sovereignty in the face of unprovoked aggression,” he said.

The British sovereign, 74, is on a three-day visit of Germany in a trip billed as “an important European gesture” to maintain strong ties after Brexit.

Hailing the “enduring value” of ties with Germany, he said he would “do all I can to strengthen the connections between us”.

Host Steinmeier had earlier spoken of the “sad day” six years ago when Britain began its exit from the European Union.

“Today, exactly six years later, we are opening a new chapter,” the German president said.

“We are now looking ahead under changed conditions — but still together,” he said, adding in English that “our friendship is important, and it is strong”.

Britain and Germany’s joint actions to help Ukraine in defending its freedom underlined “how strong our connection is,” said Steinmeier.

Germany rolled out the pomp in their welcome of the royal visitors, greeting them at Berlin-Brandenburg airport with a 21-gun salute while two military jets made a flypast as they watched from the top of the plane stairs.

The British Union Jack was flapping alongside the German and European Union flags along Berlin’s central Unter den Linden avenue, which leads to the Brandenburg Gate.

Steinmeier and German first lady Elke Buedenbender met the royal couple with military honours at the landmark, the first time it has provided a backdrop for receiving a state guest.

During his visit, Charles will also become the first monarch to address the German parliament, with a speech on Thursday, before travelling to the port city of Hamburg on Friday.

The choice of Germany for Charles’s first visit, after a planned trip to France was postponed, showed Berlin was a “key partner” for Britain as it seeks to reset relations with the EU, daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote.

At the Brandenburg Gate, crowds were waving British and German flags as they waited for the royals. Anja Wieting, 50, who works at a clothing store, took time off to drive five hours to Berlin with her daughter Lili, 18, for the spectacle.

The joy of well wishers who came face-to-face with the royals was palpable.

“I was shocked,” said 19-year-old Andreina Riera from Venezuela, whose paper crown, adorned with a Burger King logo, was complimented by the Queen Consort.

“The British royal family garners a lot of interest” in Germany, said Michael Hartmann, a sociology professor at Darmstadt Technical University.

The late queen first visited Berlin in 1965 when the city was divided between a capitalist West and communist East, a trip that was seen as a key step in post-war reconciliation.

Charles himself is a regular in Germany, having been in the country more than 40 times.

He is fluent in German, a nod to the British royal family’s roots in Germany notably through Charles’s great-great-great-grandfather Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, queen Victoria’s husband.

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