Israeli FM Director General Dore Gold Resigns

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Reuters) -
New Israeli director general of foreign affairs, Dore Gold, delivers a speech on June 1, 2015, in Jerusalem during a conference about the 50-day war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas militants in the summer of 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named on May 25, 2015 Dore Gold as his director general of foreign affairs. Gold was an adviser to Netanyahu after he first took office in 1996, served as ambassador to the UN in 1997-1999 and also advised former premier Ariel Sharon. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

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.