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President Steinmeier to Visit Mexico, Attend Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral in London

Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier cancelled a visit to Costa Rica because of the Queen’s funeral he will attend in London. From there, he is scheduled to fly to Mexico for a state visit.

Berlin, September 14th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will represent the Federal Republic of Germany at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, September 19th, 2022, in London. For decades, the late monarch had close ties to Germany. Her first of many visits to West Berlin took place in 1965. Steinmeier will attend the funeral with his wife Elke Büdenbender.

Visit Scrapped

For the event in London, a visit to Costa Rica which was planned for Sunday and Monday was cancelled. Originally, Steinmeier was going to visit both Costa Rica and Mexico in 2020, before his re-election. In this case, the trip had to be cancelled because of the Corona pandemic. This Sunday, a meeting with Costa Rica’s President Rodrigo Chaves had been scheduled. In San José and the Guanacaste province, he was supposed to visit a German electronics manufacturer and look into Costa Rica’s energy production. It is unclear whether this visit will be postponed.

But Steinmeier and Mrs. Büdenbender are expected to land at Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City on Monday. He will talk politics with his counterpart Andrés Manuel López Obrador. A meeting with Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum is on his schedule as well. Germany’s President will become an Honorary Citizen of Mexico City. As such, he is supposed to hold a speech in front of the Mexican Senate which is responsible for the country’s foreign policy.

Unsolved Disappearances

According to the President’s office in Berlin, more than 2,000 German companies are active in Mexico. Steinmeier will be talking to some of its representatives about their perspective and cooperation. But he will also get into one of Mexico’s many problems, namely disappearances. Since the 1960s, more than 100,000 Mexicans have disappeared. Almost all of them went missing since 2007. Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be talking to family members of victims as well as members of the commission reponsible for finding them or solving the crimes that led to their disappearance.

On Wednesday, the German guest is expected in Guadalajara. His office stated this part of the visit was about getting an impression of this year’s World Book Capital and the innovation Mexico’s second-largest city is known for. In Guadalajara, Steinmeier has appointments with representatives of a German supply firm that cooperates with the auto industry as well as local politicians and scientists. On top of it all, he will attend a concert at the famous Hospicio Cabañas. On September 22nd, Steinmeier, his wife and his entourage will be back in Berlin.

Full Schedule

Even before he heads to London and Mexico City, President Steinmeier has a full schedule. Today, he welcomed Rashad Al-Alimi, the President of the Presidential Council of Yemen. This afternoon, Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will be his guest. Guess who is coming for dinner on Friday: the speakers of the parliaments in the G7 states and Ukraine.

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