Government said set to extend tenure of envoy to US until president inaugurated
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Government said set to extend tenure of envoy to US until president inaugurated

Report says Ambassador Ron Dermer won’t be replaced by Likud’s Gilad Erdan until after next US president sworn into office in January 2021

Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, speaks at the annual Days of Remembrance event in Washington, D.C., on April 29, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images via JTA)
Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, speaks at the annual Days of Remembrance event in Washington, D.C., on April 29, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images via JTA)

The government is reportedly set to extend the tenure of Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, during the upcoming weekly cabinet meeting.

On Sunday, the government will request that Dermer remain in the position until the day after the next US presidential inauguration in January 2021, the Kan public broadcaster reported Saturday.

Dermer’s replacement will be Likud Minister Gilad Erdan, whose appointment as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations is expected to be approved Sunday. After replacing Dermer, Erdan will fill both roles for Israel in the US.

The US-born Dermer, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is considered to have close ties with the Republican Party and has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration to back Israel’s effort to annex parts of the West Bank.

US President Donald Trump (center) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (second from left) alongside Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer (left), US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2nd right) and White House adviser Jared Kushner (right) in the Oval Office of the White House on January 27, 2020 (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

Under the coalition agreement between Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White — which will see them rotate the post of prime minister — Netanyahu can pick Israel’s ambassadors to the UN, United Kingdom, France and Australia for the duration of the government’s tenure, while each of them can choose their own envoy to the US while serving as premier.

Blue and White has said that Gantz will make his own appointment for US ambassador.

Gilad Erdan in Jerusalem, on May 18, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Netanyahu previously offered Erdan the UN ambassador’s role after the first of three consecutive elections held over the past year, but the latter said he turned it down to stay and help Likud win the subsequent elections.

The only person to previously serve as ambassador to the US and the UN at the same time was Abba Eban, who is viewed as one of Israel’s greatest diplomats.

Erdan will replace the current UN ambassador, Danny Danon, a former Likud minister who was appointed to a three-year term in 2015, and has had his tenure extended several times.

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