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Scheduling error or deliberate? Germany President Steinmeier left waiting for about 30 minutes on tarmac in Qatar


In an unusual diplomatic incident, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier found himself waiting on the tarmac upon his arrival in Doha, Qatar. Despite the presence of a red carpet, a military honor guard, and Germany’s ambassador to Qatar, Lothar Freischlader, no Qatari official was initially present to formally greet Steinmeier, a DW report said.
Steinmeier, who arrived a bit early, was left waiting in the hot sun at the door of the Bundeswehr’s Airbus A350 for nearly 30 minutes.Eventually, Sultan al-Muraichai, Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs, arrived to welcome the German head of state. Despite this delay, Steinmeier managed to leave the airport on time for his scheduled meeting with Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
As per the DW report, this diplomatic hiccup led to speculation about whether it was a simple scheduling error or a sign of strained relations between Qatar and Germany. Steinmeier’s visit to Israel and Oman prior to his brief three-hour stay in Qatar raised questions about the Arab nation’s reception of the German president.
The incident occurred against the backdrop of Germany’s view of Qatar’s controversial role in the Israel-Hamas conflict. German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock had previously made strong statements regarding Qatar’s involvement. “We do not accept support for terror,” Baerbock stated on public broadcaster ZDF. “To put an end to this terrorism,” she added, “countries like Qatar have a special responsibility.”
Qatar, known for its financial support to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, including funding for hospital and administrative staff salaries, reportedly took umbrage at these comments. The country maintains that its financial aid to Gaza is conducted with Israel’s consent.
During his visit, Steinmeier focused on discussions about the release of German hostages held by the militant Islamist group Hamas. “I am sure Qatar will do everything in its power to contribute to the release of the German hostages,” he said in Doha. Steinmeier acknowledged the complexity of the negotiations and expressed hope for positive developments in the near future.
Qatar has played a key role in mediating between Hamas and Israel, leading to a temporary truce and the exchange of hostages and prisoners. In the latest conflict, over 180 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli jails, and Hamas released more than 80 hostages, including 60 Israelis.
Steinmeier’s trip to Qatar was the final leg of his regional tour, which included visits to Israel and Oman. The unusual delay at the airport has not been officially commented on by Qatari, Steinmeier, or German officials.

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