20 Feb 2015

NZ reshuffle for Israel, Palestine

8:26 pm on 20 February 2015

The government will not be asking Israel to accept an ambassador who is also an envoy to the Palestinian Authority.

Murray McCully talking to reporters on Wednesday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has appointed a new representative for New Zealand to the Palestinian Authority. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully appointed Jim McLay, this country's top diplomat at the United Nations, as the representative to the Palestinian Authority.

Jim McLay speaks at a press conference at the UN in New York to promote the 2015 Cricket World Cup in June 2014.

Jim McLay Photo: AFP

The former deputy prime minister and National Party leader will take up the new role in May.

Last September, a diplomatic row broke out with Israel over its refusal to accept New Zealand's ambassador Jonathan Curr because he was also an envoy to the Palestinian Authority.

The envoy is based in Turkey and had performed both roles since 2008.

Gerard van Bohemen, who is a deputy secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will succeed Mr McLay at the United Nations.

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