Double bad luck for Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock: After the arrival in the Saudi Arabian Jeddah was delayed by two hours on Monday due to a technical breakdown on her government aircraft, the Green politician is now stranded in the desert emirate of Qatar due to another defect in the replacement aircraft . Because of the breakdown, Baerbock could not return to Berlin as planned on Wednesday. She wanted to fly back to Berlin early Thursday morning.
The machine has a technical defect that no longer allows a return flight to Berlin on Wednesday, said a spokesman for the Foreign Office in Doha. It is a defect in a wheel that makes it necessary to replace it with a spare part. "But that can't be just any off-the-shelf tire, otherwise there is a risk of the tire bursting on landing," wrote the Air Force on Twitter and published a photo of the defective wheel. "The special model is not available on site and therefore a replacement will be delivered from Germany," it said.
Back to the hotel
Instead of going directly to the airport as planned, Baerbock and her delegation had previously had to drive back to the hotel after a press conference with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Gulf Emirate of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Baerbock is not the first member of the government to have had unscheduled stays because of a breakdown on a Bundeswehr flight readiness machine. For example, the Luftwaffe Airbus "Konrad Adenauer" had to turn back in November 2018 with the then Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the then Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) on board on the way to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Among other things, the radio system was paralyzed. "It was a serious disruption," Merkel commented at the time. Both flew line to Argentina.
In October 2018, rodents nibbled important cables of the "Adenauer" during a stop in Indonesia. At that time, Scholz returned by scheduled flight from the International Monetary Fund meeting. In December 2016, then Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) got stranded on her way to Mali. Because of a computer problem with her A340 in the Nigerian capital Abuja, she had to stay there overnight.