Obama Cancels Plans to Attend Berlin Wall Anniversary





US President Barack Obama has shelved his plans to attend festivities marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will reportedly take his place at the Nov. 9 celebrations.

Germany is going to have to wait longer than expected for US President Barack Obama's first official visit. Citing government sources in Berlin, Reuters reported on Friday that Obama will not attend the anniversary festivities marking two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event will take place on Nov. 9 -- just two days before Obama embarks on a long-planned trip to Asia on Nov. 11.

According to the German television channel n-tv, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will stand in for the president. It is considered unlikely that her husband, the former President Bill Clinton, will accompany her.

Berlin is going all out for the anniversary, with such luminaries as Kofi Annan, Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa expected to be in attendance. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing hard to complete ongoing coalition negotiations soon so that her government is fully formed in time for the festivities.


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