detail - Regional Programme Gulf States
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Even in retrospective it still seems a miracle that the separation of Germany was overcome so peacefully. This was the consensus among historians, analysts, diplomats and politicians who gathered on November 9th, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in Kuwait for discussions. The conference – the only one held in the region to mark this occasion– was organized by KAS in cooperation with the embassies of Austria, Hungary, Poland and Germany as well as the University of Kuwait and the Kuwait Diplomatic Institute (KDI).
The conference was hosted by KDI, the training academy for future Kuwaiti diplomats. It was held under the patronage of the Kuwaiti Secretary of State and deputy-Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Sabah Al-Salam Al-Sabah. Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Vice-President of the Kuwait National Security Bureau, was amongst the more than 100 guests.
Ambassador Abdulazeez A. Al-Sharikh, Director General of the KDI, emphasized the pertinence of the fall of the Berlin Wall for the Arabic world. The events on November 9th, 1989, put an end to the Cold War and the bipolar world order. Without these developments, the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation less than one year later would have not been possible.
The economic, political and moral downfall of the communist regime was inevitable and could no longer be ignored. But that the wall in Berlin fell without the use of force or violence, needs to be credited to the peaceful protests in the former GDR, stated Thomas Birringer, Regional Director Gulf States, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, in his panel speech on the transition from dictatorship to democracy. Germany owes the people of its eastern European neighbor countries a debt of gratitude. With their protests they paved the way for the opening of the borders. The German reunification was also a reunification of Europe.
Further discussions on the international dimension of the fall of the Berlin Wall included the question of the new orientation of Europe towards the East or the South as well as the different developments in the countries formerly under the soviet realm of influence.