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Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Israel's ambassador to Washington to step down

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Michael Oren

WASHINGTON — Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, announced that he will be leaving his post this fall.

 

“Israel and the United States have always enjoyed a special relationship and, throughout these years of challenge, I was privileged to take part in forging even firmer bonds,” Oren said in a statement sent to media and posted on his Facebook page.

 

Oren, a native of New Jersey who made aliyah as a young man, later became a historian and was named ambassador in 2009, played a significant role in rebutting reports of a strained relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

In interviews, Oren has stressed improvements in the defense relationship between the two countries during the two leaders’ tenure while acknowledging differences in some areas, particularly regarding the intensity of pressure on Iran to make its nuclear program more transparent.

 

In recent weeks, rumors have circulated that Oren will be replaced by Ron Dermer, formerly a top aide to Netanyahu.

 

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