US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who has been suspended from his duties because of suspected security violations, is known in his country as a top Middle East expert who has played a pivotal role in US diplomacy in the region.
US President Bill Clinton, who valued Indyk's expertise and detailed knowledge of the history of Arab-Israeli relations nominated him ambassador to Israel for the second time in October 1999.
Indyk's first served in the post to Israel from 1995 to 1997.
Between those postings, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, where he helped coordinate US policy in the region.
Indyk came to the State Department from the National Security Council, where he served as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs.
Before joining the US government, Indyk held prominent positions in US academic institutions.
He served for eight years as executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a research organization specializing in Arab-Israeli relations.
He has also been an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies where he taught Israeli politics and foreign policy.
Indyk, 49, was born in London but brought up in Australia. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Sydney University and a doctorate in international relations from the Australian National University -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)