Israel's PM Appoints New Ambassador to US

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed his close friend and adviser Ron Dermer to replace outgoing Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

Last week, Oren announced on his Facebook page he would be stepping down in September. He thanked Netanyahu for the opportunity to serve as Israeli ambassador to "our most important ally."

"After four years I will complete my duties this coming fall. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to represent Israel and its government," he said. "Israel and the United States have always and will always enjoy a special relationship, and I have had the privilege of playing a central role in shaping these bonds and making them stronger."

Dermer served as the prime minister's close adviser for several years.

"Ron Dermer has all the qualities necessary to successfully fill this important post," Netanyahu said of his chief adviser. "I have known him for many years and I know that Ron will faithfully represent the State of Israel in the capital of our greatest ally, the United States."

The 42-year-old father of five co-authored The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror,  with former Soviet dissident and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky.

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