Saturday, February 7, 2009

What a drag!

When it comes to global diplomacy, being forewarned is to be forearmed.

So you would think that when a visiting foreign politician is coming to town, you would do your homework and know a few facts about the politician in question.

But not in the case of Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem it seems.

He was one of the many top dignitaries that Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin met with during a visit to the Middle East this week.

Just a brief recap - Micheal Martin not only is the man responsible to banning biscuits from the cabinet table in favour of fruit, he is also the man credited with introducing the smoking ban not just in Ireland but across Europe!

So you can imagine the surprise on the faces of Minister Martin and his top-level officials when - in the middle of the meeting - Mr Al-Moualem took a cigarette out of his pocket and without a care in the world, lit it up and proceeded to puff away.

As Micheal Martin is the perfect model of diplomacy, he didn’t say a world - he was in Syria after all, which certainly hasn’t followed Ireland’s lead in introducing a smoking ban!!!

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