France Names First Female Ambassador to Israel

The Times of Israel reports: France has nominated a new ambassador to Israel, the first woman to ever hold the post. Hélène Le Gal is scheduled to arrive in September, replacing Patrick Maisonnave, who has held the position since 2013 and is set to return to Paris.

French-Israelis welcomed her appointment, describing her as a “real, sincere friend of Israel” who knows the country well.

“Israelis and Franco-Israelis can finally regain their confidence in the French government,” Ariel Melles wrote on the website JSSNews.

From 1994 to 1998, Le Gal served as first secretary in France’s Tel Aviv embassy, dealing mostly with the peace process and domestic politics. She has also been posted in Spain, Burkina Faso, the European Union and Canada.

Currently, the career diplomat is serving as a foreign policy adviser to President Francois Hollande, focusing on Africa. Her interest in the continent has earned her the nickname “Madame Afrique.”

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