German leader Merkel on her way to G20 after plane problem

German Chancellor's plane makes emergency landing in Cologne

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is finally on her way to Argentina for the Group of 20 summit after a technical problem with her plane forced her to change plans and stay overnight in Bonn.

"Following a technical problem, the official plane landed safely in Cologne", it said, without indicating when she could leave again.

The aircraft still had the majority of its fuel so it was heavier than normal when it landed, causing the brakes to overheat.

"Why now?", Merkel asked.

Scholz remained with the reporters until Merkel returned 10 minutes later. "We have to fly back". Fire trucks were on standby but weren't needed.

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Trump told reporters Friday the reason he wasn't meeting with the crown prince in Argentina was that his staff never set it up. He also pushed the issue of imprisoned human rights workers and the "humanitarian catastrophe" from violence in Yemen.

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Trump later said "we had no discussion", though he held out the prospect of spending more time with the crown prince. The Saudi foreign ministry said the prince had meetings with his French, South Korean and Mexican counterparts.

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Both officials spoke on condition they not be named in line with standard French government policy. The two leaders are controversial figures at the summit.

A replacement German air force plane was being prepared to carry Merkel and her entourage to the G-20 meeting, which starts Friday in the Argentine capital.

Around an hour into the trip from Berlin, the captain told passengers he had made a decision to land at Cologne-Bonn airport in northwestern Germany after the "malfunction of several electronic systems". She is unlikely to arrive until Friday evening and it was not immediately clear which meetings would have to be rescheduled.

"I'm glad we had the most experienced captain of the German Air Force in command", she said.

Breitbart London reported at the time of the "not quite voluntary" removal of the head of the Luftwaffe earlier this year, the fly-past in honour of the retiring officer highlighted some key issues with the state of German defence.

In a weird incident involving Merkel's official plane in 2013, a 24-year-old intruder high on drugs and wearing just underpants managed to get aboard the parked jet in Cologne and stage what media termed "a one-man party" before he was arrested.

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