George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl in Germany to mark fall of Berlin Wall

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Former US President George H.W. Bush joined Mikhail Gorbachev, the ex- Soviet leader and Helmut Kohl, the former German Chancellor, for the start of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The three statesmen, who played key roles in the fall of the Wall, exchanged warm greetings as they met near the site of the Wall.

Age had taken a toll on the three - Mr Kohl was in a wheelchair while Mr Bush, who arrived with his wife Barbara, walked with a cane. Notably absent was Baroness Thatcher, the then British prime minister, who is in ill health but was also initially highly sceptical of the merits of German unification.

Celebrations will reach a peak in Berlin next Monday. Ahead of the anniversary, the Telegraph's former Berlin correspondent Philip Sherwell returned to the city to assess what has changed in the last 20 years.

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