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Israel’s ambassador to Baltics to leave post

MOSCOW, July 6 (JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to the Baltics has announced he will leave his post in a few weeks. Oded Ben Hur’s announcement came just a week after he triggered a scandal by accusing Lithuania of a poor record in prosecuting suspected Nazi war criminals. A spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Ambassador Ben Hur’s return to Israel marks the natural completion of his three-year tenure — the standard duration of service for Israeli diplomats posted abroad. Last month, Ben Hur, who serves as Israel’s envoy to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, said the Baltic nations, particularly Lithuania, would find it difficult to integrate into Europe if they fail to cope with their wartime past and publicly acknowledge their roles in the Holocaust. Ben Hur has served as Israel’s diplomatic envoy to the region since the fall of 1996.