Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Resigns

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Sallai Meridor announced his resignation earlier  this week.

"In light of the sensitive nature of the position of ambassador to the most important country in the world and Israel's strongest ally in the international community, it is fitting and proper that the new government will have the opportunity to appoint, immediately upon its formation, the man or woman of its choosing as ambassador to Washington," Meriodor said.

Speaking with YNet news on Thursday evening, Meridor explained his decision to resign.

"It's in the State's best interest that the new government appoint its own representative who will best reflect the state of mind, thoughts and internal conflicts in Israel. This is a fundamental condition for this role," he said.

Meridor believes Israel's relationship with the U.S. will remain strong during the Netanyahu administration.

"The relations between the two countries are very firm and stable," Meridor said. "They lean on deep ledges of values, of legacy," he said.

"People in Israel are not always aware of how deep the attitude toward Israel is in the U.S. I doubt there were ever such relations," he said.

"We are facing the same threats of a nuclear Iran and the fear of nuclear technology reaching terror organizations. We share the aspiration for stability and peace and the effort to become free from dependence on oil," he said.

Meridor told YNet that his decision was shaped during meetings in Jerusalem with outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister-designate Binymin Netanyahu, held the day before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first visit to Israel on Monday.

Meridor, who wished Netanyahu "much luck in coping with the challenges facing Israel," will remain in his post until the incoming government appoints his successor.

Meridor replaced Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) as ambassador in October 2006 and is the brother to Likud Knesset member Dan Meridor.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz

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