NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg abruptly canceled his visit to Berlin on Thursday, just hours before arriving in the German capital. The head of the military alliance has developed shingles, according to his office.
Stoltenberg was scheduled to visit Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht as part of preparations for a NATO summit to be held in Madrid, Spain on June 29-30.
Early on Thursday, however, the NATO chief announced to the authorities in Berlin that he would not attend the high-profile talks, the German Ministry of Defense stated.
A NATO official later told German media that Stoltenberg had been diagnosed with shingles, which was a complication after his latest Covid-19 infection.
Shingles is a viral infection that usually causes a single strip of blisters on one side of the torso. The disease is not life-threatening, but the rash it causes can be very painful.
Stoltenberg will be forced to work from home due to his condition. The 63-year-old’s planned meetings in Germany and Romania will now be conducted at a distance, the official said.