German minister postpones Mideast visit after Yemen plot

31st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's interior minister on Sunday postponed a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, his spokesman said, after global intelligence agencies thwarted an air cargo bomb plot.

Thomas de Maiziere's trip to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah to hold political talks "has been postponed due to current events related to suspect packages in air freight from Yemen," said the spokesman in a statement.

The ministry added that the trip would be rescheduled as soon as possible.

An Israeli diplomatic source confirmed that de Maiziere had postponed the three-day trip, during which he was to have met Israeli and Palestinian officials for talks on security and investment opportunities in Germany.

"The minister said he could not come because he is very busy with the Yemen issue," the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Two packages containing explosives and addressed to synagogues in Chicago were intercepted on cargo aircraft in Dubai and Britain, triggering a massive international security alert Saturday.

De Maiziere announced late Saturday that his country would no longer accept air freight from Yemen, after it emerged that the package found in Britain had also passed through Cologne airport, in western Germany.

© 2010 AFP

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