- Associated Press - Friday, March 1, 2019

BERLIN (AP) - Germany’s foreign minister was stranded overnight in Mali after his plane was deemed unsafe to fly, the latest in a string of embarrassing breakdowns in the government fleet.

Heiko Maas shrugged off the delay, caused by a hydraulic leak on his German air force Airbus A319, telling the dpa news agency: “I’ve flown more than 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) without a breakdown.”

Maas and his entourage overnighted in Bamako and were expected back on a replacement plane Friday.

German government planes have been plagued by problems in recent years and new aircraft are on order.

Chancellor Angela Merkel showed up late in November to a Group of 20 meeting in Argentina after her government plane had to make an unscheduled landing en route due to a technical issue.

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