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Outgoing FM Ashkenazi hails past year’s ‘historic’ diplomatic achievements

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Outgoing Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi speaks at a ceremony welcoming his replacement, Yair Lapid, at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (Screenshot)
Outgoing Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi speaks at a ceremony welcoming his replacement, Yair Lapid, at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (Screenshot)

Israel’s international standing improved over the last year, says outgoing Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi at a farewell ceremony with ministry staff and diplomats before Yair Lapid takes over the post.

He says the ministry gave Israel a “diplomatic Iron Dome” during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas last month.

“We enjoyed broad international support, which provided us freedom of action and prevented every anti-Israel resolution during the operation and immediately afterward,” he says, with the exception of the UN Human Rights Council.

He says that normalization with Arab states over the past years “is a historic paradigm shift that is expected to change the Middle East for future generations.”

Ashkenazi adds that billions of shekels have been invested in Israel in the wake of the deals, including in natural gas, infrastructure, and more.

He also stresses the fundamental importance of the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan and strengthening ties with the two neighboring countries.

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