FW: Foreign Pool Report 1 - remarks by German President Gauck

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Sent: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 12:04 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP
Subject: Foreign Pool Report 1 - remarks by German President Gauck

US President Barack Obama welcomed German President Joachim Gauck to the Oval Office to mark the 25th anniversary of German reunification. It is the first visit of a German president to the White House in 18 years. The leaders last met in Berlin at Gauck's official residence, Bellevue Palace,  in 2013.

Gauck, who spoke second, said his visit must be seen in the historical context of US-German relations and thanked the US and former president George HW Bush for strong support of German reunification as well as the US role in liberating Germany from the Nazi regime in World War II.

Gauck said his US trip, which included stops at the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall in Philadelphia and the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial, could be seen a "pilgrimage" to the birthplace of ideas that are important to humanity.

On the "horrible" conflict in Syria and the refugee crisis facing Germany and Europe, Gauck called for a solution to come "not only from Europe" but also to be something recognized in the United States.

"Germany because of its history is ready to welcome these people in dire need," he said.

He called for a solution to be found to help those fleeing in fear for their lives from the conflict, but also for a solution to the root cause of the conflict.

Gauck also reflected on the joy felt by the German people when Obama first traveled to Berlin as a candidate and said it reflected a broader friendship and common values between the people with "German hearts going out to the American people."

"It was a sign that even when disagreements exist with Europe, we know how deep the relationship with each other is," he said.

Anne K. Walters

Correspondent

German Press Agency, dpa

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