Israeli Arab named envoy to Greece

Ali Yihye previously served as Israeli ambassador to Finland in 1995-1999.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Ali Yihye was named ambassador to Greece on Thursday. Yihye, the first Israeli Arab ambassador, served in this capacity in Helsinki from 1995 - 1999. Additionally, Gideon Meir, who has led the Foreign Ministry's information campaign since the beginning of the Palestinian violence in September 2000, was appointed Thursday as Israel's ambassador to Italy. Meir, the deputy director-general for media and public affairs since 2000, will be replacing Ehud Gol. One of the candidates to replace Meir, among the highest profile positions at the ministry, is Aviv Shir-On, the ambassador to Switzerland who is finishing up his term there. Shir-On formerly served as the ministry's spokesman. Another leading candidate for the job is Yuval Rotem, a former consul-general in Los Angeles. Meir's appointment was announced after a meeting of the ministry's High Appointments committee that met Thursday for the second time in as many weeks after going months without an appointment. The committee announced five other ambassadorial appointments, as well as the head of Israel's delegation to Qatar and its consul general in Boston. The other ambassadorial appointments made Thursday include Ilan Elgar to Switzerland, Isaac Bachman to Guatemala, Yosef Livne to Mexico, and Tsuriel Raphael to El Salvador. In addition, Roi Rosenblit will head up Israel's delegation in Qatar, and Nadav Tamir will be the consul-general in Boston. In the last two weeks Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has named 20 senior appointments, including 17 new ambassadors. None of these have been political appointments. The appointments now go to the Cabinet for final approval.