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Israeli Ambassador to U.S. To Step Down

Israel’s ambassador to the United States Sallai Meridor announced this week his intention to step down from the top diplomatic post in the near future, it emerged Thursday.

Meridor informed outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu of his decision.

“It is my desire to thank the prime minister, the foreign minister and the outgoing government for granting me the privilege of serving the state at the central and crucial front during a sensitive and challenging period,” the envoy said in a statement.

Meridor, who was appointed by Olmert, said he would return to Israel after leaving the position.

News of the announcement came after Haaretz reported Thursday that Netanyahu sidelined Meridor Wednesday, asking him to leave the room during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Jerusalem.

In the statement, Merridor also said, “It is fitting and desirable that the new government should have the opportunity to appoint immediately after its establishment the most reliable man or woman for the position of ambassador in Washington.”

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