Shir-On named Foreign Ministry public affairs head

Aviv Shir-On, Israel's outgoing ambassador to Switzerland and former Foreign Ministry spokesman, has been appointed the ministry's new public affairs director, it was revealed on Wednesday. Shir-On will replace Gideon Meir as deputy director-general for public affairs at the end of the month. The job will make Shir-On one of the country's highest-profile spokesmen. Meir, who took over the job in 2000 just before the outbreak of the Palestinian violence, has been appointed Israel's new ambassador to Italy. After serving as the ministry's spokesman from 1997 - 2000, Shir-On served in the embassy in Washington as the minister for congressional affairs. Following that three-year stint he served in Bern as Israel's ambassador. Shir-On is a 28-year foreign ministry veteran.