Lieberman: Arad won't replace Prosor as Israeli ambassador to UK

By Jennifer Lipman, February 14, 2011
Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

Israel’s Foreign Minister has ruled out Uzi Arad to replace Ron Prosor as the Israeli ambassador to the UK.

It was confirmed yesterday that Mr Prosor would be stepping down from his role after more than three years in it, in order to take the job of Israeli ambassador to the UN.

Sources suggested he would be succeeded by Mr Arad, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's current National Security Adviser.

But Avigdor Lieberman said today that this would not be the case and strongly criticised Mr Netanyahu for interfering in a Foreign Ministry decision.

He said: I read in shock that [Netanyahu] appointed Prosor and Arad in London.

"I'll be considerate of his stance but all the appointments will be made by the Foreign Ministry only”.

Mr Lieberman said that while he respected Mr Arad, there should not be an “outside appointment” to the embassy in London.

He said: “I told him I'm sorry it came out the way it did [but] there are enough people in the Foreign Ministry, including people born in London.”

Mr Lieberman’s comments will prompt speculation that either Mark Sofer or Jeremy Issacharoff, both London-born senior diplomats with ambassador status, will be chosen instead.

Mr Sofer is currently serving as the Israeli ambassador to India, while Mr Issacharoff is deputy director general for strategic affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Both men attended Hasmonean Boys School in London.

The British-born senior deputy legal adviser at Israel's Foreign Ministry, Daniel Taub, is also believed to be under consideration.

Last updated: 4:02pm, February 15 2011