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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock
Baerbock canceled all meetings after the positive test resultImage: Christian Spicker/IMAGO

Germany's Baerbock ends tour after positive COVID test

June 7, 2022

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has tested positive for coronavirus and is cutting short a trip to Pakistan. The minister had just arrived in Pakistan as the first stop on a tour of several countries.


The German foreign minister tested positive for coronavirus shortly after the start of her visit to Pakistan, a Foreign Office spokesman said on Tuesday.

As well as visiting Pakistan, Annalena Baerbock had been due to travel onwards to Greece and Turkey.

Baerbock tested positive after lunch after noticing that she had lost her sense of taste, her ministry said. It added that a rapid COVID antigen test she took in the morning had been negative.

The minister had already held talks with her counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, which centered around bilateral cooperation and regional challenges, including the situation in Afghanistan.

The pair held a detailed discussion about the "grave humanitarian situation" facing 40 million Afghans, according to Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

Baerbock had also been set to meet the staff of the German embassy and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), which has been working with people who have fled Afghanistan.

She was due to meet Afghan refugees who are in Islamabad and want to leave for Germany.

Three-nation tour cut short

Baerbock had been scheduled to meet Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis later in her three-nation tour, as well as her Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.

Numerous talks were also planned in Turkey for her last stop on Friday, including with her opposite number Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The visits to both countries come with the two NATO members arguing about gas, maritime territory, migration and other issues.

With Russia's war on Ukraine in the background, Baerbock's Turkey visit had also been expected to broach Ankara's threatened veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner last month tested positive for COVID while in the United States after his appointments with the International Monetary Fund and the G20 in Washington. 

rc/fb (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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