Dore Gold, the director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and one of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s closest aides, has resigned.
Gold cited personal reasons for Thursday’s decision.
The American-born Gold has been one of Netanyahu’s closest confidants for some 25 years. He served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. during Netanyahu’s first term in office in the 1990s, has often served as a semi-official adviser and joined the Foreign Ministry in 2015.
Gold had been tasked by Netanyahu, who also holds the post of foreign minister, with improving relations with African countries. Last year, he officiated at the reopening of Israel’s embassy in Cairo, based in its ambassador’s residence.
Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, had also been at the forefront of Israel’s efforts to engage more openly with Sunni Muslim states in the region, particularly when it came to shared opposition to the U.S.-led deal on Iran’s nuclear program.
“I thank Dr. Dore Gold for his great contribution towards strengthening Israel’s diplomatic ties in the world, including in Africa and the Middle East,” Netanyahu said in statement.
No replacement was immediately announced.