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Romania mixes up France, Germany in commemorative brochure

March 9, 2015

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian officials were left red-faced after Germany’s foreign minister was handed a brochure with a map of France on Monday.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier received the gift from Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu at the end of a news conference to mark 135 years of diplomatic relations.

Romania’s Foreign Ministry later apologized, saying it had received the brochure in the morning containing the “regrettable technical error” — the colors of the German flag contained within the map of France — from national news agency Agerpres.

Aurescu apologized to Steinmeier during a visit later to the city of Sibiu. Steinmeier responded diplomatically, saying he hadn’t even noticed the gaffe, the ministry said.

Agerpres later apologized to both the German and Romanian foreign ministries for the mix-up.

The one-day visit wasn’t without other hiccups. Steinmeier, who flew with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Aurescu to Sibiu to celebrate bilateral relations, was one hour late arriving in the Transylvanian city after his plane was unable to fly because of technical problems. They eventually flew by helicopter to Sibiu.

Romania also celebrates 135 years of diplomacy this year with Britain and France.

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