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Ex-Merkel spokesman becomes Germany’s ambassador to Israel

Steffen Seibert said he would ‘work hard’ to strengthen the relationship between Germany and Israel.

The 62-year-old was the government spokesman under Merkel for more than ten years [source: Getty]

Angela Merkel’s longtime spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, has officially taken office as Germany’s new ambassador to Israel

Seibert, who worked alongside the former chancellor for more than 10 years, presented his credentials to Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday. 

The 62-year-old called the posting a “huge honour” in a video shot ahead of the ceremony and pledged to “work hard…for the friendship of our two peoples”.

The ex-journalist later posted on social media: “The friendship between Israel and Germany is a treasure and it is an honour for me to work to strengthen it.” 

Herzog welcomed Seibert to his new role, saying on social media: “We thank Germany for its solid commitment to Israel’s security. Never forgetting the past, we look forward together towards the future.”

On the same day, the Israeli president spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone to discuss bilateral ties and continued “cooperation” between the two countries, despite Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Germany’s Seibert took over the ambassador post from Susanne Wasum-Rainer, who served as Berlin’s envoy since 2018.

Germany’s ambassador to Israel has always held a delicate diplomatic role given the Nazi Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were killed. 

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