Academic Appointed Cabinet Secretary

An academic expert on Spanish history, who until recently was Israel’s ambassador to Madrid, has been appointed Cabinet secretary.

Shlomo Ben-Ami accepted the post from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on condition that he be recognized as the main government spokesman, the newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported. That means government ministers will no longer hold impromptu press interviews after meetings of the Cabinet – unless invited to address reporters by the Cabinet Secretary.

Ben-Ami, who is close to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, takes over from Elyakim Rubinstein, who was appointed to the post by former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

Rubinstein reportedly will remain as head of the negotiating team handling peace talks with the Jordanians and the Palestinians.

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