Veteran diplomat to be Livni spokesman [pg. 3]

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni named veteran diplomat Ido Aharoni as her media adviser Sunday, replacing personal spokesman Shai Ben-Maor. Ben-Maor said he decided to quit after two years as Livni's spokesman, work which he said had been challenging and fascinating but also wearing. In addition to serving Livni during her term as foreign minister, he also served as her spokesman over the last two years at the absorption, housing and justice ministries. Aharoni is the first diplomat to have been tapped for this position in years and comes with a great deal of experience in media relations. From 2001 until 2005 Aharoni served as Israel's spokesman and consul for media and public affairs at the consulate general in New York. He served in a similar capacity in Los Angeles from 1994 to 1998. Since joining the ministry in 1991, he has also served as a policy adviser or policy assistant to five different Foreign Ministry directors-general. Aharoni's appointment was welcomed in the ministry Sunday, with one official saying the fact that Livni chose someone from inside to fill the post showed the confidence she had in the ministry's staff. It was also interpreted as a sign that she was interested in selecting people in key posts that come with the "right professional background."