Video: Burkina Faso’s foreign minister faints in the middle of a press conference

May 9, 2013

Djibrill Bassole, the foreign minister of the Colorado-sized West African nation of Burkina Faso, has joined the inauspicious ranks of people to faint on live television.

Bassole was holding a joint press conference in the Turkish capital of Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu when, in the middle of a question from a reporter, it became clear that something was wrong. He grips the platform, grimaces and begins to sway slightly. Bassole, obviously concerned, leans over to Davutoglu and says something.

The Turkish foreign minister looks immediately alarmed but, perhaps wary of embarrassing his official guest, extends an arm without actually grabbing Bassole. Then there's a whooshing sound in the audio as Bassole, collapsing, brushes against his microphone and takes the podium down with him.

Davutoglu reacts with impressive reflexes – so do the Turkish security guards and whoever is sitting in the front row – but Bassole is clearly a big guy and they can't keep up from hitting the ground.

At this point, the Turkish security in the room, perhaps remembering that their first responsibility is to Davutoglu and not sure what will happen next, starting pulling the Turkish foreign minister away. But he stays and the scrum manages to resurrect Bassole, who looks dazed.

So what happened? Bassole was suffering from "influenza and fatigue," according to a short article at the Turkish news site Anadolu Agency, which also reports that he's currently resting at a local hospital.

Bassole, it's worth noting, is no wimp. At the height of Mali's fighting in August, the 56-year-old diplomat flew to the country's rebel-controlled north and met with extremist groups who had been linked to al-Qaeda to try to negotiate peace.

The tolls of international diplomacy, which include the exhaustion of frequent travel between time zones and lots of exposure to germs, also led U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to faint in her home in December.

Comments
Show Comments

Get the WorldViews newsletter

Sign up for daily updates from WorldViews.

Most Read World
Next Story
Max Fisher · May 9, 2013