A live presser by Germany's foreign minister in Jeddah caused major embarrassment for an interpreter, who stopped translating his remarks when he appeared to criticise the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
The live broadcast of a presser by Germany's foreign minister in Jeddah caused major embarrassment for a simultaneous interpreter, who stopped translating his remarks when he appeared to criticise the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
The awkward moment took place during a joint press conference following a meeting between Germany's Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, and his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in the Red Sea city, to discuss the Gulf crisis.
Responding to a question, the German minister said: "We (Germany) have said it is not acceptable to blockade and isolate Qatar in this manner."
The interpreter on Saudi Arabia's Al-Ekhbaria news channel was dumbstruck and opted to repeat only the words: "We Germans" over and over for a whole minute, before mistranslating the entire segment with the words "Qatar's sovereignty should not be touched."
A later Reuters report quoted the German FM as saying he did not get the impression after his meeting that the states were calling Qatar's sovereignty into question.
He was also quoted as saying: "An agreement on ending any kind of support for terrorist or extremist organisations" would be the best solution to the Gulf crisis, after the two-hour meeting with his Saudi counterpart.
But according to an Al Jazeera report, doubts about the broadcasting of the joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart were immediately raised by media outlets claiming what Gabriel actually said could not be heard due to a “technical failure” during the broadcast.
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