Foreign Ministry names 6 new ambassadors
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Foreign Ministry names 6 new ambassadors

Envoys to Mexico, Greece, Kenya, Uruguay, Lithuania, and the Hague must still be approved by cabinet

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with CEO of the Foreign Ministry Yuval Rotem, at the International Conference on Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, on December 7, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with CEO of the Foreign Ministry Yuval Rotem, at the International Conference on Digital Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, on December 7, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee on Sunday named six new ambassadors — to Mexico, Greece, Kenya, Uruguay, Lithuania, and The Hague.

The appointments must still be approved by the cabinet.

Diplomat Yosef Amrani was named Israel’s Ambassador to Athens, while the candidate set to represent Israel in The Hague was Naor Gilon.

Oded Yosef was nominated for the position of ambassador to Kenya. He will replace Noah Gal Gendler, ambassador of Israel to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Seychelles.

In Uruguay, Yoad Magen was tapped to succeed Ambassador Galit Ronen. Yosef Levy was nominated to replace Amir Maimon in Vilna, while Zvi Tal was set to succeed Jonathan Peled in Mexico.

Earlier this month, several Israeli ambassadors accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of failing to fund their offices and causing what they said was an unprecedented crisis, prompting a promise from the premier to reverse the steps he has taken in recent years.

During an annual gathering of Israeli envoys at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Netanyahu, who is also the acting foreign minister, spoke about the need to change voting patterns in international forums.

But during a closed part of the meeting, when they could ask Netanyahu questions, the ambassadors railed against budget cuts in the Foreign Ministry, and the reassigning of some of its responsibilities to other ministries, Hebrew-language media reported.

“The Foreign Ministry’s condition has never been this bad,” said Israel’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Aviv Shir-On. “There is no budget for activities, there are no means. We are constantly busy with challenges but we can’t then find out that we aren’t remunerated.”

The Foreign Ministry workers union has been protesting budget cuts that have included salary reductions to envoys and the closure of diplomatic missions, and has been threatening to strike.

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