Top Irish Diplomat Returns From Israel, Mideast Tour – Says 'We Are Fortunate to Live in Ireland'

Simon Coveney, who also serves as Ireland's deputy prime minister, says meeting with Netanyahu was 'good,' focused on Gaza, peace process

Simon Coveney meeting with Netanyahu, June 7, 2018.
Kobi GIdeon/GPO

Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney returned Saturday from a visit in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. Upon his arrival he tweeted, "we are fortunate to live in Ireland," with a picture of Ireland's green field and the other of Israel's desert. He later deleted the tweet. 

Coveney, who also serves as Ireland's foreign minister, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. He tweeted later that the meeting was "good" and "frank," and that he two discussed "concerns re Gaza and the need to progress a peace dialogue."

The deleted tweet.
From Twitter

During his tour, Coveney also visited Ramallah in the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus. Upon his return home, he tweeted: "Just back from the Middle East - what a great country we are fortunate to live in #Ireland."

Last month the The Irish government summoned the Israeli ambassador, Zeev Boker, to express its shock and dismay over the Gaza deaths. The summoning came after the United States officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem amid clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians at the Gaza border that killed dozens of protesters and wounded hundreds more.

Ireland has called for an independent UN investigation into the events in Gaza.