Cabinet Approves Moshe Arad for Washington Embassy
JERUSALEM (AP) _ The Cabinet approved the appointment of career diplomat Moshe Arad as ambassador to the United States on Sunday, ending a dispute that paralyzed Israel’s coalition government, an Israeli official said.
Arad has been serving as ambassador to Mexico. His new appointment must be approved by the U.S. government, said the official, who demanded anonymity.
Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir of the rightist Likud bloc and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of the left-centrist Labor Party had been unable to agree on a candidate for the key post, a deadlock that embarrassed the government.
The outgoing ambassador, Meir Rosenne, ended his term of office May 31.
The Romanian-born Arad, 52, immigrated to Israel in 1950 and joined the foreign service 25 years ago. He served in the Israeli Embassy in London and the Israeli Consulate in New York and was minister for information at the embassy in Washington.
In 1976, Arad was appointed a deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry. He headed the director-general’s office and then was made general supervisor of the ministry’s activities in Israel and abroad.
Arad was appointed ambassador to Mexico in 1983.
Shamir rejected a long list of Peres’ candidates for the ambassadorial post, including Arad, the daily Haaretz reported earlier.
Israel radio reported Sunday that Shamir disapproved of Arad because his political outlook was closely aligned with that of the Labor Party.
However, the radio said Shamir eventually changed his mind because the stalemate left Israel without an ambassador in Washington.
Relations between Shamir and Peres have deteriorated over a proposal by Peres to join an international Middle East peace conference.