For the past four months Turkmenistan has been stalling over the appointment of a former spy and close confidant of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s first ambassador to the country, Haaretz has learned.
Israel in October nominated Reuven Dinel, a close associate of Lieberman and a former employee of the Mossad as its envoy to the Central Asian state.
But in a rare diplomatic snub, Turkmenistan has withheld approval the posting.
“They are hoping that we’ll take the hint and nominate someone else,” one senior diplomat told Haaretz.
Behind the rejection may lie an embarrassing episode that has dogged Dinel for more than a decade. In 1996 the Mossad man was expelled from Moscow after Russian security forces caught him accepting classified satellite photographs from senior army officers.