Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Obama to give speech in Berlin to mark Reformation anniversary

Germany's protestant church has secured a coup: Barack Obama will address the annual assembly to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. It could be Obama's first major appearance since leaving the presidency. Former US President Barack Obama will visit Germany in May to address the Protestant Church Assembly, or Kirchentag, the organizers confirmed on Tuesday. Obama will join Chancellor Angela Merkel and other dignitaries at the four-day festival. He is believed to be making a speech at the closing event in Berlin to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. It would be his first public talk since his second term came to an end in January. Organizers refused to confirm Obama would be attending, saying they would announce the official line up of speakers later on Tuesday. As Germany looks towards federal election in September, it is safe to assume that most of the country's major politicians will be in attendance. The former president can likely look forward to a warm welcome in Germany, where he still enjoys a favorable reputation despite revelations that the NSA once tapped Chancellor Merkel's cell phone under his watch. Obama visited Germany six times as president, but he captured the hearts and minds of Germans before he was even elected. In 2008, hundreds of thousands gathered to hear him speak at the Victory Column, or Siegessäule, in Berlin. DW