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Bush, Gorbachev To Mark Berlin Wall Anniversary

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
Former U.S. President George Bush, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl are expected to take part in commemorations in Berlin on October 31 ahead of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Bush, Gorbachev, and Kohl all played key international leadership roles during the largely peaceful revolutionary wave that swept across the Eastern Bloc in late 1989 -- including the November 9 opening of the wall between communist-ruled East Berlin and West Berlin.

Cooperation among the three leaders would clear the way for German reunification in 1990. Missing from the reunion will be two other leaders who were influential at the time -- former French President Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is in ill health.

Current German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Horst Koehler are due to host the ceremony.

compiled from agency reports