Israeli Government to Weigh Long-delayed Appointment of New Ambassador to Egypt

The position has been vacant for a year, after Netanyahu froze Amira Oron's appointment and considered appointing a minister from his party instead

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomes Amira Oron, then Israel's charge d'affaires in Turkey, in October 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomes Amira Oron, then Israel's charge d'affaires in Turkey, in October 2016.Credit: Binnur Ege Gurun / Anadolu Agency
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

After a delay of more than a year, the government will on Sunday debate the appointment of Amira Oron as Israel’s ambassador to Egypt.

A Middle East affairs expert, Oron speaks Arabic and is a former head of the Foreign Ministry’s Egypt desk and has also served as ambassador to Turkey.

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After Oron was designated by a professional appointments committee, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu froze the appointment and considered cancelling it in favor of Ayoub Kara, a former Likud minister, who has caused a number of embarrassing diplomatic incidents in the past. He once reportedly caused a crisis in Israeli-Italian relations by revealing a security affair involving Israel.

Israel has been without an ambassador to Cairo since Netanyahu froze Oron’s appointment about a year ago.

In June 2019, Foreign Ministry personnel wrote to former Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz to take steps to protect Oron’s appointment.

A group of former ambassadors also called on the government to expedite the process of naming Oron at the time. "A professional appointment is worthy of the sensitive role in Egypt and much more important than a political deal," they wrote.

The signatories to the letter also noted that serving Israel in Egypt is especially important, because relations with the neighboring country "are a cornerstone for Israel in the Middle East."

However, because of the freeze on appointments to sensitive postings during the prolonged election period over the past year, only now is Oron’s name being put forward again for consideration.

During her time as charges d'affaires in Turkey, Oron faced claims that she called for Netanyahu's ouster in a meeting with lawmakers and officials. She denied the allegation.

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