Obama calls for world without walls in Berlin speech

U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has called on Europeans and Americans “to tear down the walls” between countries and races, defeat terror, and reduce the nuclear arsenals “from another era”, in his speech before m

Speaking in the Tiergarten, a park not far from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city, he urged Americans, Berliners, and the international community to work together for a better world.

“Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more – not less. Partnership and co-operation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity,” he said.

Obama believes there shouldn’t be walls between religions, countries and races – they should fall like the Berlin Wall.

“The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down,” he continued.

He also stressed the moment has come to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world.

“The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom. It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials, to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and to reduce the arsenals from another era,” he added.

Speaking about terrorism, Obama said this threat is real and “we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it.”

“This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. We can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman, in London and Bali, in Washington and New York. We can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope,” he stated.

He also mentioned the EU and relations with Russia.

“In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century we must reject the Cold War mindset of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday Obama met the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to discuss foreign policy issues including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East peace process. The talks also covered trans-Atlantic economic partnership, climate and energy issues, the state of the global economy and international cooperation.

It is Obama’s first stop on the European leg of his international tour.

He's already been to the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan and on Friday will travel to France and the UK.