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Ex-army chief Ashkenazi to become Israel’s FM – Blue and White alliance

Former Israeli Army chief Gabi Ashkenazi, who spent nearly four decades in the military, will be nominated as Israel’s next foreign minister, AFP reported Wednesday, citing his Blue and White alliance. Ashkenazi held talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem ahead of his “appointment as minister of foreign affairs this coming Thursday,” said Blue and White, which is led by the incoming alternate PM Benny Gantz.

A unity government agreed between Gantz and right-wing PM Benjamin Netanyahu is due to be sworn in on Thursday evening, ending more than a year of political deadlock.

Foreign affairs was a key profile secured by Blue and White in coalition talks with Netanyahu’s Likud party, along with the Defense Ministry which will be led by Gantz.

Ashkenazi took part in or led a series of high-profile and sometimes controversial operations. He was army chief during Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza in 2008-09.

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