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Hours before leaving job, regional cooperation minister Akunis says office unnecessary

The Regional Cooperation Ministry is an entirely unnecessary one that “should have been closed long ago,” according to Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis.

Hours before he is set to leave the job he’s held since mid-2020, Akunis notes in conversation with Army Radio that the ministry was formed in 1999 as compensation for Shimon Peres by then-prime minister Ehud Barak, after the former did not receive the position of foreign minister.

Likud Minister Ofir Akunis in Jerusalem on May 28, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“I would have expected a so-called change government not to establish or maintain offices they believe should be closed,” he adds.

Asked why he served as head of a ministry he believed should not exist, Akunis says he voiced his position “in internal forums.”

The position is slated to be held by Issawi Frej (Meretz) in the government slated to be sworn in today.

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