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Israeli PM names president’s brother as new US envoy

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Israel on Friday appointed retired Brigadier General Michael Herzog as its new ambassador to the United States, the prime minister’s office announced, noting his expertise on Iran.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chose Herzog for the job due to “his deep familiarity with the strategic issues facing Israel, especially the Iranian nuclear issue”, as well as his security and diplomatic experience, a statement said.

Israeli media said that Herzog, 69, is the brother of President Isaac Herzog.

His appointment will be submitted to the cabinet for approval, the statement added.

The would-be ambassador served 40 years with the Israeli army, including as chief-of-staff to the defence minister.

He took part in “diplomatic negotiations under five prime ministers”, the statement added.

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Herzog was also an international fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

According to the think tank’s website, Herzog has “played a key role in the Arab-Israeli peace process” and took part in most of Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, Jordan and Syria.

He has published work on Iran’s nuclear programme and the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas, which rules the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

If approved by the coalition government, Herzog would remain as Israel’s envoy to Washington when Foreign Minister Yair Lapid takes over from Bennett as prime minister in 2023.

(AFP)

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