German president left waiting at plane door in Qatar

Updated November 30 2023 - 1:15am, first published 1:10am
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to bide his time after his plane landed in Qatar. (AP PHOTO)
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to bide his time after his plane landed in Qatar. (AP PHOTO)

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been left standing at the door of his Airbus A350 for nearly 30 minutes after touching down in Qatar.

The airport had rolled out the red carpet for the German leader and a military honour guard was there to greet him but an official representative of the host country was nowhere to be found.

Germany's ambassador to the country, Lothar Freischlader, was also on hand as Steinmeier bided his time, often with his arms folded at the door of the government aircraft.

Finally, a representative of Qatar arrived: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi.

Steinmeier then departed for his meeting with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Qatar is the last stop on Steinmeier's three-country Middle East tour, after having visited Israel and Oman.

Qatar has emerged as a key mediator between Hamas and Israel amid their ongoing war.

The reason for the unusual diplomatic episode was unclear.

The plane landed slightly earlier than planned in the official programme.

Australian Associated Press

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