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HomeWorldIn a bilingual Bundestag speech, Charles praises Germany's support for Ukraine

In a bilingual Bundestag speech, Charles praises Germany’s support for Ukraine

At a light moment in his speech, Charles referred to countries’ appreciation of each other’s cultures, like the Beatles and German band Kraftwerk – noting that German was the first language into which the works of William Shakespeare were translated.

“And perhaps most importantly, for the last 50 years, we’ve laughed together — both at and with each other,” he said with a grin in an address that itself frequently drew laughter from the audience.

King Charles III, second from right, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier talk to soldiers from the military unit 130th German-British Engineer Bridge Battalion in Finowfurt, eastern Germany, on Thursday.Credit:AP

“In the UK, Germany’s comedy ambassador Henning Wehn ​​introduced us to German quirks the way Monty Python brought our own here.

“As with all old friends, the warmth of our relationship sometimes allows for a small smile at each other’s expense.”

He later met with some Ukrainians who have fled to Berlin since Russia invaded the neighboring country in February 2022. And he played table football with some refugees who live in an emergency shelter at the former Tegel Airport.

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The green king and the climate chancellor

Charles’ trip drew mixed reactions from ordinary Germans, with some questioning the importance of the British monarchy and others enthusiastically showing up to greet him.

“This is sometimes something nice, sometimes something pleasant in our dark times,” said the Berlin pensioner Bärbel, who did not give her last name after observing him at a farmers’ market on Thursday.

Charles also watched a demonstration of amphibious vehicles from a joint Anglo-German military unit before visiting an organic farm, where he donned a white lab coat and busied himself filling molds with cheese.

Throughout his visit, German officials have praised his interest in environmental issues and sustainability, which has shown in the engagements he has chosen.

Green interests: Chancellor Olaf Scholz receives King Karl III on Thursday.  in the Chancellery in Berlin.

Green interests: Chancellor Olaf Scholz receives King Karl III on Thursday. in the Chancellery in Berlin.Credit:AP

“I have great respect for his decades of commitment to environmental and climate protection,” tweeted Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was appointed “Climate Chancellor” in the 2021 election campaign, after meeting Charles.

On Wednesday, shortly after his arrival in Germany, Charles met government representatives such as climate ambassador and former Greenpeace boss Jennifer Morgan as well as environmental scientists and entrepreneurs at a sustainability forum.

As the first visiting head of state, he received a ceremonial reception with military honors at the Brandenburg Gate, the landmark of Berlin, which was a symbol of division during the Cold War and then of reunification.

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At a state banquet for Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at Bellevue Palace, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the two countries were “opening a new chapter” in relations, exactly six years after Britain began the process of leaving the EU.

The King said he was looking forward to traveling to Hamburg on Friday, where he would discuss the northern city’s plans to use hydrogen in its bid to become a fully sustainable port.

“Our countries are both accelerating the build-out of our hydrogen economies, the fuel that could transform our future,” he said.

Charles was supposed to travel to France first for his first trip abroad as monarch, but canceled that part of the tour due to violent protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms.

Reuters

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