Government announce new UK ambassador to Israel

Simon Walters will replace Neil Wigan later this year


The UK government has announced their new appointment to the role of British Ambassador to Israel.

According to a statement on GOV.UK, Simon Walters will be appointed His Majesty’s Ambassador to the State of Israel in August, succeeding Neil Wigan OBE who will be transferred to another post.

The move was confirmed on Monday by Mr Wigan on Twitter.

Mr Walters, who has been taking full-time Hebrew language lessons since early 2022 in preparation for the role, has served as the Director for National Security for the Middle East and Africa in the Foreign Office.

He has also previously worked for the consulate in Jerusalem from 2008 - 2011, held postings in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iraq and served in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the Arabian Peninsula in 2012.

Outgoing Ambassador Neil WIgan, who has an Israeli wife, has served as UK Ambassador to Israel since April 2019. One month after his appointment to the role, he told the JC that the role was the one he “really wanted”.

Mr Wigan has served nearly four and a half years in the role, for which he has been praised for his commitment and to improving relations between the two countries.

From August 2002 to January 2006, Mr Wigan was the Head of the Political Section at the embassy in Tel Aviv, before becoming Head of the Middle East and North Africa Group in London between February 2006 and April 2008.

Mr Walters will take up his post in August 2023.

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