Herzog arrives in Washington, officially assumes the position of United States ambassador

WASHINGTON – Mike Herzog, Israel’s new ambassador to Washington, landed in the United States on Friday and officially took office. It is expected to go live, as the embassy will host various events and official visits this week. From Sunday to Tuesday, the embassy hosts the conference of heads of mission. All of Israel’s consuls general participate in the forum, including Assaf Zamir from New York, Hillel Newman from Los Angeles, Yinam Cohen from Chicago and Shlomi Kofman from San Francisco.

The conference is usually held in Jerusalem, but this year the embassy in Washington will be hosting it and Herzog will meet his fellow diplomats on his first day in office. He will discuss the relationship between the United States and Israel and is expected to address various goals that he would like to achieve during his tenure. As part of the conference, Israeli diplomats will also travel to the Capitol to meet with members of Congress.

Herzog succeeded Gilad Erdan, who will remain ambassador to the UN. “As I conclude my term as ambassador to the United States, I am proud of the work we have done to strengthen the relationship,” he tweeted on Friday. “I will continue to fight on behalf of Israel in my role as ambassador to the UN to ensure that the world’s only Jewish state is treated fairly in the international arena,” he added.

On Monday, the ambassador will hold a series of meetings with embassy staff. Herzog will also host Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll later this week. Shaked will come to Washington to meet with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss Israel’s inclusion in the US Visa Waiver Program, and Herzog will also attend the meeting.

New Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog. (credit: courtesy)

Last month, Mayorkas said the United States is considering adding Israel to its visa waiver program, allowing its citizens to visit the United States for 90 days without a visa.

“We have four candidates in the pipeline: Israel, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania,” Mayorkas said at a travel industry event. “We are very, very focused on the program,” he added, saying it provides significant security and economic benefits.

Deputy Foreign Minister Roll will meet in Washington with Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. Roll will also hold meetings at the White House National Security Council, members of Congress, Jewish organizations and students. On Sunday evening, he will meet with William Daroff, executive director of the Conference of Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations.


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