Publication: The Times

Full Citation

  • Title Open this gate, Reagan appeals to Gorbachov
  • Author England, John
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Saturday,  June 13, 1987
  • Issue Number 62794
  • Page Number 6
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
Open this gate, Reagan appeals to Gorbachov President Reagan yesterday challenged the Soviet leader, Mr Mikhail Gorbachov , to tear down the "brutal" Berlin Wall as an unmistakable sign that he truly wanted peace and freedom. Speaking to about 20,000 West Berliners near the Brandenburg Gate, just across the Wall from East Berlin, Mr Reagan said: "General Sec - retary Gorbachov, if you seek peace; if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; if you seek liberalization; come here, to this gate. Mr Gorbachov, open this gate. Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall." He also broke into German to tell them: "£$ gibt nur ein Berlin" (There is only one Berlin). His words were met with roars of applause. But in the inner city as he spoke, hundreds of left wingers gath - ered to stage a demonstration against his visit despite a ban on anti-Reagan rallies after serious rioting on Thursday night. dent Richard von Weizsacker of West Germany. Mr Reagan then went to the Reichstag and on to the highpoint of his visit near the Brandenburg Gate to speak from a platform, with his back to East Berlin, protected by a bullet-proof glass panel. East German guards high up on top of the imposing gate watched him through binoculars. The President told Berliners that Herr von Weizsacker had said the German question would remain open as long as the Brandenburg Gate re - mained closed. He added: "Today I say that as long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind." He pointed out that the Soviet Union had returned to the disarmament talks in Ge - neva because Nato had re - mained strong. Mr Reagan also called for an expansion of air links between Berlin and the rest of Europe, East and West. "We look to the day when West Berlin can become one of the chief aviation hubs in all central Europe," he said. Soviet rejection: The Pres - iden t 's call for the demolition of the Wall drew immediate criticism from the Soviet Union and East Germany as "cold war propaganda" (Reu - ter reports). Police in riot gear split the demonstrators into groups which they then surrounded and drove off the Kurfiir - stendamm into side streets. But further trouble broke out and 60 were arrested even though Mr Reagan had left the city. The President and his wife, Nancy, spent nearly five hours in Berlin as part of the city's 750th anniversary celebra - tions . Massive security was provided by a force of 10,000 policemen. Mr Reagan's first call after his arrival at Tem - pelhof Airport was on Presi - " Reagan delivered an openly provocative, war - mongering speech, in the spirit of the cold war," Tass said, describing the Wall as part of East German defences. From John England, West Berlin