WASHINGTON – New United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro on Friday was sworn in by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a ceremony attended by hundreds of guests at the State Department building in Washington.
Guests included former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, the ambassadors of Turkey and Morocco, as well as congressmen.
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Shapiro made a speech in English, and concluded with a greeting in Hebrew, expressing hope for friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel.
Shapiro, 42, arrived in Israel for the first time at the age of four during the Yom Kippur War and later on studied in Jerusalem.
He has visited Israel dozens of times, and has repeatedly expressed his deep connection with the Jewish State.
During his speech, Shapiro said his first instruction from US President Barack Obama was to maintain Israel's security, adding that he will act against attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Shapiro is being sent to Israel during trying times, and stressed that the safe future of Israel hinges on a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Shapiro will replace current Ambassador James Cunningham, who is ending his three-year term.
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