Shlomo Shamir
July 18, 2008 - 3:32pm

Ambassadors from Arab countries and the Gulf states were among the guests at a reception yesterday for outgoing United Nations Ambassador Dan Gillerman, who is completing a six-year tour of duty. One veteran UN reporter for an American television network told viewers he could not recall such an impressive Arab turnout for a diplomatic event for a senior Israeli official.

The envoys from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Oman were seen at the reception, which took place in the official apartment of the Israeli ambassador in Manhattan.

A particular surprise was the attendance at the party of the Palestinian observer at the UN, Riyad Mansour, the senior Palestinian envoy, who usually eschews Israeli diplomatic events and who embraced Gillerman. At a recent Security Council meeting Gillerman and Mansour exchanged heated remarks. In his words of thanks at the reception, Gillerman noted his particular appreciation for the Palestinian representative for coming, despite criticism of his doing so.

Also at the party was Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and media star Barbara Walters.

Gillerman is to return to Israel at the beginning of August. He will be replaced at the UN by Professor Gabriela Shalev


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