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President Higgins begins first official Irish visit to Germany since 2008

The visit will begin today with a formal welcome by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

President Higgins as he inspects a Guard of Honour with President of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin
President Higgins as he inspects a Guard of Honour with President of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin
Image: MAXWELLS DUBLIN

Updated Jul 3rd 2019, 11:15 AM

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has arrived in Germany for an official State visit to Germany, the first such visit by an Irish Head of State since 2008.

The visit, which takes place 90 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, started today with a formal welcome by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

President Higgins and his wife Sabina are accompanied by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.

In addition to his meetings with political leaders Higgins, is expected to participate in a number of events hosted by Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland.

Over the three days, Higgins will visit four German states, including the federal capital Berlin, Frankfurt in Hesse, Würzburg in Bavaria and Leipzig in Saxony.

Later today, the President will visit the Brandenburg Gate, followed by a meeting with the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller. He will then lay a wreath at the Neue Wache, Germany’s national monument.

The President will continue with meetings with Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel, at the Federal Chancellery, and President of Germany’s national parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, in the Bundestag.

On the second day of the visit, President Higgins will be the first Irish Head of State to include Leipzig, a city in the former East Germany. 

Higgins will welcome German President Steinmeier to a special performance of the Other Voices series, taking place in Kreuzberg, in Berlin.

On the final day of his visit, Higgins will mark the opening of a new Consulate General, the first such diplomatic representation in continental Europe in the modern era.

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