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Cabinet Confirms Career Diplomat Arad As Israel’s U.S. Ambassador, Ending Long Shamir-peres Dispute

The Cabinet Sunday confirmed the nomination of career diplomat Moshe Arad to be Israel’s next Ambassador to the United States. Arad, 52, who is presently Ambassador to Mexico, was summoned home last week for meetings with Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

He will succeed Ambassador Meir Rosenne, whose four-year tour of duty in Washington expired on May 31. An official announcement will be made when the U.S. formally concurs with the appointment.

Arad’s nomination ended months of wrangling between Shamir and Peres over who would fill Israel’s most important diplomatic post abroad. Until now, each man’s proposal was vetoed by the other. Shamir consistently supported Hanan Baron, a recently retired diplomat. Peres reportedly rejected him on grounds he would not go over well on television. Baron left the foreign service and is now vice president of the Weizman Institute of Science.

Arad served previously as Comptoller-General of the Foreign Ministry and as Assistant Director-General in charge of information. Earlier in his career he was an aide to Justice Minister Yaacov Shimshon Shapira.

Arad’s nomination was opposed by only one Cabinet member — Likud Liberal Gideon Patt, who is Minister of Science and Technology.