FM replaces ambassadors worldwide with high-ranking ministry diplomats.
By HERB KEINONPublished: DECEMBER 20, 2006 23:16Advertisement
Former Foreign Minister director-general Ron Prosor was named Israel's new ambassador to Great Britain, the first career diplomat to be appointed to that lucrative position in 10 years.
Prosor, who was director-general of the ministry under former foreign minister Silvan Shalom, was just one of a slew of high-profile diplomatic appointments announced Wednesday following a meeting of the Foreign Ministry's appointments committee.
The ministry also announced the appointment of Yuval Rotem to Australia, to replace Naftali Tamir.
Tamir raised eyebrows in October when he reportedly said that Israel and Australia were "like sisters in Asia," because "we don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes," a comment he later denied. Although a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday night that Tamir was not being recalled, he took up his post in Australia in 2005, and the tenure for that type of ambassadorship is generally three to four years.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made good on her promises to promote diplomats from inside the ministry to top positions, and - in addition to the position in London - replaced political appointments to Tokyo, Manila and Los Angeles with career diplomats.
Prosor, who is fluent in English, has previously served in the embassy in London as well as in Washington. He will replace Zvi Hefetz.
In addition to Prosor, a number of other high-level ministry officials who held high ranking posts during Shalom's tenure as foreign minister received sought-after posts.
Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, who was the ministry's deputy director general under Shalom, was named Israel's new envoy to Japan, and Yaakov Dayan, who was the head of Shalom's bureau, was named counsel-general in Los Angeles.
Other notable appointments included Ran Curiel, deputy director general for western Europe, who was named envoy to the European Union; Mark Sofer, currently deputy director general for Euro-Asia, named ambassador to India; and Amos Nadai, deputy director general for Asia and the Pacific, who was appointed to Beijing.
Gabi Levy was named ambassador to Turkey; Zvi Aviner-Vapni to the Philippines; Rafi Shutz to Spain: Aliza Ben Nun to Budapest; Tamar Sam-Esh to Brussels; Oren David to Bucharest, and Yisrael Mei Ami to Kiev.
In addition, Amir Gissin was named the consul general in Toronto. All of the appointments will now go to the government for its approval, a process that is usually a formality, and the new envoys are expected to take up their posts in the summer.
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