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Germany celebrates 25 years since reunification

Germany is marking 25 years of unity with celebrations across the country. Frankfurt takes center stage for this year's public events, while German Unity Day is also being marked around the world.

This year, Germany is marking the

25th anniversary of German reunification

with a public celebration in Frankfurt. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck are among those due to attend.

Each year since 1990, a city has been chosen as the public expression of German Unity Day, celebrated on October 3.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann opened a presentation about monetary union and remarked: "The exhibition also reminds us that Frankfurt was the starting point for a huge step on the path to German unity." The exhibition is part of "FRANKFURTinsights - the 1,000 wonders of Frankfurt." The city, which is home to the European Central Bank, is staging a series of events over the weekend.

In Pakistan, German Ambassador Ina Lepel was asked about lessons for South Asia from the German experience: "Regional cooperation and integration is not a zero sum game but one from which everyone can gain. In Europe, we started slowly, and then the good results came," she told the Express Tribune newspaper. Pakistan's German-educated national poet Allama Iqbal was "the first link between our two countries," the ambassador added. "He studied in Heidelberg and got his Ph.D. from Munich."

Other celebrations are taking on a more cultural theme - as in Stretford, near Manchester in the UK:

and at the Ambassador's Residence in Tanzania:

Reunification

The steps toward

reunification

between East and West Germany began one November night in 1989, when German Democratic Republic (GDR) citizens were told they could travel to West Berlin without formal travel passes. Within days, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announced his 10-point plan for "overcoming the division of Germany and Europe."

Elections in the GDR in March 1990 brought an East German counterpart of Kohl's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party to power. and the two states began to discuss economic and currency union. The US, Soviet Union, UK and France were consulted over foreign and security policy.

By July the deutschmark replaced the Ostmark, economic union was achieved and a second treaty - for German Reunification - was drawn up. In August 1990,

the date of October 3

was agreed for Germany's official reunification, with Berlin as the capital.

jm/jr (AFP, dpa)

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