Israel sends new Ambassador to India

by · Rediff

The Israeli government has approved the appointment of veteran diplomat Reuven Azar as its new Ambassador to India.

Photograph: Kind courtesy @ReuvenAzar on X

Azar, 56, will also serve as the non-resident Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Bhutan, a statement from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

His appointment is one of the 21 new Heads of Missions cleared by the Israeli government to assume service soon.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, congratulating the new appointees, said they will 'represent Israel and its citizens, strengthen its economy and strengthen international support for the State of Israel'.

Azar is currently serving as the Ambassador of Israel to Romania. It is not yet known when he will take charge in New Delhi.

Azar will replace Naor Gilon, who has been serving as the Israeli ambassador to India since 2021.

Azar has earlier served as Head of the Israel-United States-China internal task force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, immediately after serving for three years as Deputy National Security Advisor for Foreign Policy at the National Security Council and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel.

From 2014 to 2018, Azar was Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, DC.

He also served as the Head of Middle East Research in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2014 and as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Israel in Amman from 2010 to 2012.

Since the completion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cadet training programme in 1994, Azar mostly held Middle East-related positions such as Head of the Iran Sanctions Team and Director of Middle East Economic Research.

He has also covered different aspects of cooperation and negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, as well as research on Palestinian issues during his almost three decades of service.

Azar served four years in Cairo as Head of the Economic and Trade Department at the Embassy of Israel.

In an earlier stint in Washington from 2003 to 2006, he served as Counsellor for Political Affairs.

Azar was born in Argentina in 1967 and made Aliyah (immigration) with his family to Israel at the age of 13.

He served in a paratroopers battalion of the Israeli Defence Forces from 1985 to 1988 and was a reservist combat Sergeant up to 2008.

He has a graduate and post-graduate degree from the Hebrew University in International Relations.