Jordan on Monday announced it had appointed a known diplomat as its new ambassador to Tel Aviv, filling a post that had remained vacant since August. "Ali Ayed, the director of the prime minister's political bureau, has been named ambassador to Israel," a senior official told AFP. A similar report was published Monday by Al Sharq al Awsat newspaper.
The post had remained vacant for almost one year after the previous ambassador Maaruf Bakhit was recalled to Amman where he was later appointed prime minister of Jordan.
The new ambassador is a career diplomat who served briefly as Jordan's charge d'affaires in Tel Aviv between January and April 2005. Ayed was also charge d'affaires in Washington from 1997 until 2001 and from that date until 2004 he was a close aide to the Jordanian foreign minister. Ayed boasts close relations with top Palestinian figures.
His promotion comes ahead of a projected meeting between Ehud Olmert the Israeli prime minister and Jordan's King Abdullah II.