Foreign Ministry to Name 32 New Envoys

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is to hold a meeting Wednesday of the committee in the Foreign Ministry that decides on new ambassadorial and consular postings. The committee will discuss some 32 new appointments - about one-third of Israel's diplomatic corps. Among the positions to be filled are key postings to London, Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing, Ankara and the European Union in Brussels, as well as consul-general in Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and Montreal.

Livni intends to select all the appointments from among the ministry staff, and for the first time in many years, staff members can put forward their candidacy for the position of ambassador to London.

Some of the ministry's senior staffers have been waiting for a posting to open up for the last few years. Most of the political appointees made by previous ministers will be returning to Israel. Exceptions are UN Ambassador Danny Gillerman, whose appointment was extended, and the ambassador to Washington, Sallai Meridor, who recently took up his post. Another exception is the position of consul general in New York, which is expected to go to Asi Shariv, the outgoing media advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.