"Our division destroyed the prospects of millions,” said the mayor in reference to Germany's experience. ">
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  • East German border guards stand on a section of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 11, 1989—two days after travel restrictions in East Berlin were lifted.

    East German border guards stand on a section of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 11, 1989—two days after travel restrictions in East Berlin were lifted. | Photo: AFP

Published 28 January 2017

"Our division destroyed the prospects of millions,” said the mayor in reference to Germany's experience. 

The Mayor of Berlin, a city where a wall between east and west has defined its history, has sent a plea to U.S. president Donald Trump as he pushes ahead with one of his key election promises to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

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In a statement Friday, Müller looked back at the history of the infamous Berlin wall, telling Trump “not to go down that road to isolation and ostracism. Wherever such divides exist, like in Korea and Cyprus, they cause slavery and pain.”

“We Berliners know better than most the pain caused when a whole continent is split by barbed wire and walls. Our division destroyed the prospects of millions,” said Müller in reference to the wall which divided the city into east and west from 1961 to 1989 and Europe into capitalist and communist camps.

“I call on the American President: remember your forerunner, Ronald Reagan. Remember his words: ‘Tear down this wall.’ I also say, ‘Mr President, don’t build this wall.’”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also criticized Trump’s plan for trade and immigration saying that Trump had “forgotten the Berlin wall fell years ago.”

Amid a handful of executive orders signed this week, Trump ordered the construction of a 2,000-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as cuts to federal funding to around 300 cities and counties that block local law enforcement from targeting undocumented immigrants.

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The plan for the wall has infuriated Mexico, particularly as Trump considers hitting its southern neighbor with a 20 percent import tax to help pay for the wall. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled his scheduled meeting in Washington out of protest.

Publically, Trump has said little about the wall since signing the order, on Friday referring to a phone call with peña Nieto as a “very good call.” A White House statement said that their conversation was “productive and constructive.” 

 

 
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