Berlin mayor implores Trump: 'Mr President, don't build this wall'

Barbed wire on the West side of the Brandenburg gate, put up as a "Safety measure" by the British. November, 1960. Photograph:( Getty )

WION New Delhi Jan 28, 2017, 04.40 AM (IST)

The mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, has issued a statement to US President Donald Trump urging him not to build the proposed wall at the US-Mexico border.

Read the statement in full below: 

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Berlin knows what walls are about.

After the Nazi's defeat in World War II, Germany's capital of Berlin was bissected by a 155-kilometre long wall known as the Berlin Wall. The western side, known as West Germany, was occupied by the Allied forces. The eastern section, or East Germany, was occupied by the former Soviet Union.

This separation lasted through, and came to symbolise, the Cold War, when the tension between the nuclear-armed Americans and the Soviets--ideological proxies of capitalism and communism--was running high. 

The Cold War ended with the reunification of Berlin in 1989, which literally saw the wall torn down, as family and friends came together after decades. It became one of the 20th century's most iconic historical moments.

Trump originally promised that Mexico would pay for his proposed wall. Mexico steadfastly refused to pay one cent of the costs. Now, Republicans say that Congress will front the money.

The costs for Trump's proposed wall vary wildly, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying between $4 billion to $8 billion is "about right". 

MIT Technology Review pegs the cost at somewhere between $27 billion to $40 billion.

(WION)

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