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Blinken, US delegation drive from Paris to Brussels after his plane again suffers a ‘mechanical issue’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and an American delegation were forced to drive from Paris to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting Wednesday after his plane was again grounded due to a ‘mechanical issue,’ the State Department said.

The incident involving the aircraft, identified by Bloomberg as a modified Boeing 737, happened after Blinken’s travel plans were upended in January when the plane he was using to visit Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting encountered what the State Department described as a ‘mechanical issue’ as well.

‘Due to a mechanical issue with the aircraft, Secretary Blinken and the American delegation drove from Paris to Brussels to attend the NATO Foreign Minister’s meeting,’ a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday following the latest incident. 

The trip between the French and Belgian capitals is about a 4-hour, 200-mile journey. Blinken had met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday.

‘Secretary Blinken and President Macron reaffirmed strong support for Ukraine’s fight for freedom against Russia’s aggression,’ State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. ‘They also agreed on the importance of preventing the conflict in Gaza from expanding, including avoiding escalation in Lebanon; discussed challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China; and discussed efforts to bolster global food security through coordination on the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS).’

In January, the State Department said the U.S. Air Force sent a replacement plane to Switzerland to bring Blinken home from the meetings in Davos. After that event, the aircraft he was traveling in was unable to take off due to a ‘mechanical issue,’ Miller said at the time.

‘There’s a mechanical issue. I don’t know the nature of the mechanical issue, but he is in Zurich. He was scheduled to fly back from Zurich,’ Miller had said.

‘The Air Force has a replacement plane inbound. We expect him to be back… But several hours later than originally planned,’ Miller added.

According to Bloomberg, the Boeing 737 in that incident suffered a critical error after an oxygen leak was detected and it was not immediately fixable. The aircraft was subsequently deemed unsafe to fly.

Fox News’ Ashley Cozzolino contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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