PM attempts to ease Foreign Ministry-Mossad tension

Turf battles have long been fixture in relationship between 2 agencies; ministry officials say Mossad doesn't keep them in loop, takes their responsibilities.

November 21, 2011 03:44
1 minute read.
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Mossad head Tamir Pardo to a meeting Sunday to iron out turf issues badly straining relations between the agencies the two men lead.

The meeting followed Yediot Aharonot reports last week that Lieberman had issued a directive calling on ministry staffers not to cooperate any longer with the Mossad.

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Turf battles have long been a fixture in the Mossad-Foreign Ministry relationship, with ministry officials complaining for years that the Mossad does not keep them in the loop, and often takes responsibility abroad for duties for which the ministry is responsible.

Unofficially, the Foreign Ministry is responsible for all ties with countries with whom Israel does have diplomatic ties, while the Mossad carries the ball in contacts with nations – including the vast majority of the Islamic world – with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations.

One government official said understandings were reached at Sunday’s meeting, making cooperation possible. He would not elaborate.

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