Israel diplomats angry at ex-Mossad man’s ambassadorial appointment

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Israel’s hardline foreign minister has reportedly angered several Israeli diplomats after announcing that a former Mossad official will be Israel’s ambassador to Turkmenistan. Earlier this week, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman announced the pending appointment of Reuben Dinal as Israel’s first-ever ambassador to the central Asian nation. Intelligence observers probably remember that Dinal headed the Mossad’s bureau in Russia in the early 1990s, until he was expelled by Moscow in 1996 for allegedly engaging in “undeclared intelligence activities”. Since Turkmenistan’s independence from the Soviet Union, Israel has regarded the central Asian nation as particularly sensitive, not only because of its wealth in energy resources and the predominantly Muslim faith of its population, but also because it borders the Islamic Republic of Iran. Thus several Israeli diplomats expressed fears that Dinal’s ambassadorial appointment will anger regional player Russia, and will send a message to the region that Israel is “only concerned with military or intelligence-related matters”, according to one senior Israeli Foreign Ministry employee, who did not disclose his identity. This is not the first time that Lieberman angers the Israeli Foreign Ministry community. Last July, some in the Ministry accused the Russian-born Lieberman of waging a “manipulative campaign of incitement” against his internal antagonists, after the pro-Lieberman Israeli daily IzRus wrote that the Israeli Foreign Service favors a policy of discrimination against foreign-born Israeli citizens in its internal promotion system.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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