Foreign Ministry Announces Round of New Diplomatic Assignments

All 16 new ambassadors and consuls general are professional diplomats rather than political appointees.

Ron Prosor will be the first professional diplomat - rather than a political appointee - to serve as Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom in more than a decade, a Foreign Ministry appointment committee announced on Wednesday.

The committee, headed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, approved the appointments of 16 ambassadors and consuls general on Wednesday, all of whom are part of the Foreign Ministry's professional staff.

Five of the newly appointed ambassadors currently serve as deputy directors general at the ministry.

Prosor served as director general of the Foreign Ministry between October 2004 and last June, and has previously served as a political adviser in Washington and an embassy spokesman in London and Bonn, Germany. The ministry says he is fluent in English and German.

Nissim Ben Sheetrit, an assistant director general and head of the administrative department at the Foreign Ministry, has been appointed ambassador to Japan.

Ben Sheetrit has run the administrative department for more than a decade, overseeing the construction of the ministry's new building and promoting a support system for Israelis who get into trouble abroad.

The new ambassador to European Union institutions in Brussels will be Ron Curiel, the deputy director general for Europe and former ambassador to Greece. Curiel will be replacing Oded Eran, a veteran diplomat in the foreign service. Curiel will be joined in Brussels by the new ambassador there, Tamar Samash.

In North America, Yaakov (Yaki) Dayan will be consul general in Los Angeles and Amir Gissin, who heads the Foreign Ministry's public relations department, will be the consul general in Toronto. Yuval Rotem, who used to serve as consul general in Toronto, has been appointed ambassador to Australia.

Other appointees include the deputy director general for Eastern Europe, Mark Sofer, who will be the new ambassador to India; the deputy director general for Asia, Amos Nadai, who will represent Israel in China; and Gabi Levy, who is currently Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer's political adviser will be the Israeli ambassador to Turkey.