Asi Shariv, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman, will likely be Israel's next consul general in New York, one of the most sought after positions in the foreign service, government sources confirmed Sunday night.
According to the sources, Olmert promised Shariv the job months ago, and reached an agreement on the matter with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
Livni's agreement was necessary, since the appointment would be a political one. The appointment, however, still needs to be approved by various committees, and no formal announcement has been made.
Shariv, who Ariel Sharon appointed as his spokesman in December 2003, is set to leave his post at the beginning of January.
Arye Mekel is currently the consul-general in New York. Mekel took over from Alon Pinkas in 2004, after spending two years as Israel's number two diplomat at the United Nations. His tenure expires next year.
Prior to becoming Sharon's spokesman, Shariv served for two years as the top aid to Dov Weisglass, who was then Sharon's bureau chief.