King Charles praises Germany’s support to Ukraine on 1st state visit

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Berlin, March 30

On his first state visit, the UK's King Charles III praised Germany's "extraordinary hospitality" towards Ukrainian refugees, adding that both London and Berlin "stand together" with Kiev in "defence of freedom and sovereignty".

He made the remarks during a lavish state banquet at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin on Wednesday evening, which he delivered partly in German, reports the BBC.

In his address, the monarch said that the UK and Germany "stand side-by-side in protecting and advancing our shared democratic values".

"This is epitomised so clearly today as we stand together with Ukraine in defence of freedom and sovereignty in the face of unprovoked aggression.

"In this regard, I did want to pay a particular tribute to Germany's extraordinary hospitality in hosting over one million Ukrainian refugees. This, it seems to me, so powerfully demonstrates the generosity of spirit of the German people," he added.

The King also spoke about the fight against climate change, adding: "I am utterly convinced that the connections between us will grow ever stronger as, together, we pursue a more sustainable, prosperous and secure future."

He also mentioned his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, thanking the German people for the messages of "support and affection" they sent when she died last year.

"Over all these years, and in so many ways, I have been struck by the warmth of the friendship between our nations and by the vitality of our partnership in countless areas," the King said.

"It was, Mr President, a friendship which mattered greatly to my mother, the late Queen, who cared deeply about the bond between our two countries.

"The relationship between Germany and the UK matters greatly to me... I will do all I can to strengthen the connections between us," he added.

The King's three-day tour with the Queen Consort comes after a planned visit to France was cancelled following unrest in several cities over pension reforms.

Germany, due to be the second stop on the trip, is instead the location of King Charles' first foreign visit of his reign -- and the first of a British monarch since the late Queen Elizabeth II's own state visit there in 2015.

Upon their arrival in Berlin on Wednesday morning, the King and Queen Consort Camilla were greeted by a twenty-one gun salute and fly-past at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport.

The royals then visited the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

In the afternoon, the King attended a sustainability reception at the Bellevue Palace before planting a Queen's Green Canopy tree in the gardens of the palace.

The Canopy project -- originally conceived to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee in 2022 -- aims to create a network of trees as a lasting legacy to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The King will become the first British sovereign to address the Bundestag, the German Federal Parliament, on Thursday.

--IANS

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