According to Israeli press reports in early July, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yari Lapid reportedly approved the closure of the Israeli embassy in Eritrea as a result of the ambassador’s continued failure to be accredited nearly two years after his appointment (

The Israeli government had appointed Ambassador Ishmael Khaldi in July 2020 as Tel Aviv’s new diplomatic representative in Asmara, when the post had already been vacant for nearly two years as a result of first turnover and then the pandemic emergency, following the departure of the previous ambassador in September 2018.

Instead, the appointment of Amb. Khaldi was decided in July 2020, but since then the Eritrean government has systematically delayed accreditation. The staff of the Israeli diplomatic representation in Eritrea had then been progressively reduced until it was determined to be completely closed in April 2021.

According to Israeli press reports, the Eritrean government would never give any reason to justify the delay in the accreditation process, while in an interview former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Yitzhak Levanon speculated that the nature of the problem might lie in the recent rapprochement between Israel and Sudan, which would have generated ill feelings in Asmara (


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