Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was unusually absent from the yearly reception for Israel's foreign diplomatic staff that took place at the President's Residence on Thursday in honor of Independence Day.
The dozens of foreign diplomats and Foreign Ministry officials were surprised to find that instead of Lieberman, his deputy Danny Ayalon attended the event.
Every year, all of the foreign ambassadors, the commanders of the international peacekeeping forces, the leaders of the religious communities in Israel, the foreign minister and the foreign ministry director-general attend the event.
An Israeli diplomat that was at the event said that many attendees were taken aback to find out that the foreign minister was not present and that he had sent his deputy instead.
"It is not respectable that the foreign minister did not see fit to come to the event," the Israeli diplomat said.
When preparations for the event began several weeks ago, the Foreign Ministry notified the President's Residence that Lieberman will be abroad during that time and will not be able to take part in the event. However, Lieberman ultimately returned from his trip abroad on Wednesday. Lieberman's office said that the reason he was absent from the event was due to his participation in a family event.
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