German flag (archives)
Photo: AFP
Belgian flag. Similar colors, different structure (archives)
Photo: AP

German FM nearly greeted with Belgian flag

Foreign Ministry security guard prevents embarrassing diplomatic incident during Guido Westerwelle's visit to Israel

A Foreign Ministry security guard prevented an embarrassing diplomatic incident on Sunday: Minutes before German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's arrival, the guard discovered that the head of the ceremony had placed the Belgian flag at the entrance to the building instead of the German one.


Westerwelle visited the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem for a meeting and joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman.


To make the honorable guest feel at home, the head of the ceremony was asked to place the German flag at the entrance to the building. The staff confused the German flag with the Belgian one, which has similar colors but a different structure.


Luckily, one of the ministry's security guards – most of whom are students and former combat soldiers – spotted the mishap and alerted the head of the ceremony just minutes before the German minister's arrival. The flag was quickly replaced and an embarrassing incident was averted.


During the meeting, Westerwelle stressed that the relations between Israel and Germany were strong and called on the Israeli government to freeze construction in West Bank settlements.


He praised the Jewish state for easing the Gaza siege and for its willingness to have German lead a major sewage purification project in the Strip.



פרסום ראשון: 11.08.10, 10:03
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