German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, talk prior to a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government is defending a decision to have Chancellor Angela Merkel and her defense minister fly to the United States almost simultaneously on separate government planes, two days after Merkel's coalition presented a policy package aiming to combat climate change.

German newspapers on Monday mocked the back-to-back departures Sunday of Merkel to New York for a U.N. climate summit and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to Washington for meetings with U.S. officials. Media reported that Kramp-Karrenbauer originally was supposed to fly out in Merkel's Airbus A340 and take a commercial flight home.

Merkel spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said the separate flights were down to "purely organizational" reasons, stemming from the fact Merkel and Kramp-Karrenbauer were heading to separate destinations with different delegations, and the government has offset emissions since 2014.

In this Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 photo a giant poster showing German Chacellor Angela Merkel, right, and the chairwomen of the German Christian Democratic Party (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, is displayed in front of the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. The German government is scrambling to agree a package of measures for tackling global warming, as protesters prepare to stage rallies across the country demanding decisive action against climate change. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)