Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin left stunned guards in his wake during his recent visit to Gaza by literally making a break for the border.
Embassy staff and Egyptian officials were still checking the Minister’s passport at the border post as he left Gaza – while outside the Irish cavalcade under police escort was not hanging around and made it off into the Egyptian night.
The police and cavalcade was several kilometres into Egypt before the oversight was copped and it was summoned back to the frontier to clear the necessary paperwork.
Fortunately the border guards were well briefed on the VIP visit and gave Minister Martin the thumbs up to cross into the land of the pyramids.
Earlier in the day a news conference by the Foreign Affairs Minister was beamed live across the Middle East on Al Jazeera and several other Arab channels while over a dozen camera crews documented every move of his day long visit.
The outdoor conference took place in torrential rain – leading to a bemused Minister telling the local media he had brought the Irish weather with him.
The visit also has not gone un-noticed on the world stage with the International Herald Tribune asking the Minister to pen his own impressions of Gaza.
Micheál was the first EU Foreign Minister to gain access to Gaza in over a year, this week he will brief his colleagues about the humanitarian crisis on the ground when he meets them in Spain.