Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday named Israel's envoy to Colombia, Meron Reuven, as temporary new ambassador to the United Nations.
Reuven will be replacing Gabriela Shalev, 68, who was the first woman to serve as Israeli ambassador to the UN and has held the post since 2008.
As the appointment is only temporary, it did not require the approval of the prime minister – as a permanent post would.
Prior to serving as ambassador to Colombia, Reuven was Israel's envoy to Paraguay. That mission was closed down eight years ago due to budgetary constraints.
It is likely that temporary nature of the appointment represents Lieberman's intention to establish "facts on the ground," in order to convince Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept Revuen for the post.
At a farewell reception for Shalev on Wednesday, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said: "I believe when the history books are written, in all honesty, historians will rank Gabriela Shalev as among the best representatives that Israel has ever had at the United Nations for her dedication, her skill, and her extraordinary heart."
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