Jewish state appoints Christian envoy to Muslim country

George Deek, a highly acclaimed diplomat, is currently a senior advisor to Director-General Yuval Rotem.

November 15, 2018 19:19
1 minute read.
George Deek, appointed Thursday as Israel's first Christian-Arab ambassador. He will serve in Azerba

George Deek, appointed Thursday as Israel's first Christian-Arab ambassador. He will serve in Azerbaijan. (photo credit: FOREIGN MINISTRY)


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The Foreign Ministry announced the appointment of George Deek as Israel’s next Ambassador to Azerbaijan on Thursday, making him Israel’s first ever Christian Arab ambassador.

Deek, a highly acclaimed diplomat, is currently a senior adviser to Director-General Yuval Rotem.

Deek joined the ministry in 2008, and served as deputy head of mission at Israel’s embassy in Norway from 2012 to 2015, and as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Nigeria from 2009-2012.

“We are proud of his appointment, which perfectly symbolizes the integration of Israelis from different backgrounds in the representation of the state,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Azerbaijan, a Muslim-majority country, is extremely important for Israel, as it sits on Iran’s border and supplies some 40% of Israel’s oil. It also is one of Israel’s largest arms markets.

Deek is not Israel’s first Arab ambassador – that distinction went to Ali Yahya, who was appointed Ambassador to Finland in 1995, and also served as Israel’s envoy to Greece.

The ministry also announced that Ron Adam will be the ambassador at Israel’s recently opened embassy in Rwanda, considered among Israel’s strongest friends in Africa.

Other appointees approved by the ministry’s senior appointments committee include Galit Ronen to Argentina; Leo Vinovezky, Cote d’Ivoire; Christian Cantor, Colombia; Ze’ev Harel, Ecuador; and Noah Gal Gendler, Albania.

In addition, the ministry named Dan Haezrachi as consul-general in Guangzhou, a Chinese port city northwest of Hong Kong; and Anat Sultan-Dadon as consul-general in Atlanta. In addition, Omer Caspi was named Israel’s economic and cultural representative in Taiwan.

These appointments will now come to the cabinet for final approval.

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