Burkina Faso FM passes out in Turkey at briefing

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2013 16:00 hrs

The foreign minister of Burkina Faso on Thursday briefly passed out during a live televised news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, forcing him to delay a planned trip to Paris the next day.

State media reported that he spoke of being tired and taking flu medication, while a doctor said he had low blood sugar.

Djibril Yipene Bassole, 55, leaned toward the lectern in front of him before knocking it over and collapsing on the raised platform. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was among the first to notice that he was passing out and rushed to help him. The lectern also hit both men in the legs as it fell.

Several officials helped lift Bassole up and sat him down on a chair. He later walked away with Davutoglu's help and was taken to a nearby hospital for a checkup.

Davutoglu told reporters outside the hospital that Bassole was doing well but would be kept in the medical facility for a few hours for tests. He said the minister was due to travel to Paris on Friday but that the trip would be delayed.

"Because he is our guest, we do not want him to leave until we are sure that everything is well," Davutoglu said.

The doctor at Ankara's Ataturk Hospital said Bassole's tests showed that he had a low blood sugar count but found nothing wrong with his heart. He was also slightly hurt in the leg by the falling lectern.

Bassole explained to his hosts that he had taken medicine for flu and had also been tired, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.

The Burkina Faso official was in the Turkish capital to discuss developments on the African continent, where Turkey has become increasingly involved, as well as ways of increasing cooperation between the two nations.

Davutoglu said he initially thought Bassole was having problems with the simultaneous translation headphones before realizing that the minister was passing out.

The hospital also took an x-ray of Davutoglu's leg as a precaution, according to Anadolu.

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