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Israel's ambassador to Britain, Zvi Heifetz, is slated to serve as an informal adviser to Quartet envoy Tony Blair after Heifetz's posting ends. The Israeli diplomat's stint in London is due to end next week.

After Blair stepped down as British prime minister and was appointed envoy for the quartet of Mideast mediators, he met Heifetz and asked him to be available to give occasional advice on Israeli politics upon his return to Israel.

Blair told Heifetz that he very much wanted to keep in touch and be able to ask questions when the need arose and the latter agreed.

The two met recently and discussed the situation in the Middle East.

Officials in Blair's office confirmed that Heifetz had been asked to informally offer advice.

The officials added that Blair keeps in contact with many people he met in his capacity as prime minister, and he seeks their views on a variety of issues.

Born in Russia, Heifetz moved to Israel at the age of 14. He spent seven years with Military Intelligence and retired as a major in the Israel Defense Forces. He has a law degree from Tel Aviv University and is a member of the Israel Bar Association.

Heifetz became vice chairman of the Maariv Group in 1999 and chairman of both the Hed-Arzi Music Production Company and Tower Records, Israel in 2001.

In 1997, he began serving as an external legal adviser to the Prime Minister's Office on matters relating to the former Soviet Union. Since 2003, Heifetz has acted as an adviser and spokesman for the Defense Ministry dealing with the Russian-language media.