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German Foreign Policy Advisor Resigns After Caviar Incident

November 21, 2001|Reuters

BERLIN — German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder accepted the resignation of his top foreign affairs advisor Tuesday after he allegedly insulted army officers over a flight delay and demanded that they serve him caviar.

A government spokesman confirmed reports that Michael Steiner argued with three senior German officers stationed in Moscow on Nov. 2 when a plane Schroeder and his entourage were traveling aboard was delayed for refueling.

Steiner, 51, who was criticized earlier this year over the leak of a sensitive memo summarizing talks between Schroeder and President Bush, apparently insulted the soldiers and asked them to serve him caviar during the delay. He later apologized for any offense caused and said his demand for caviar was in jest.

Chief government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye said in a statement that Schroeder had regretfully accepted Steiner's request to resign.

Steiner was seen as the main architect of an increasingly muscular German foreign policy under Schroeder.

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