There had been speculation for a long time, but now Steffen Seibert has confirmed it: The former journalist will be the German ambassador to Israel. That non-diplomats get such top jobs is rather the exception in Germany.

Angela Merkel’s government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, will become the new German ambassador to Israel. Seibert confirmed this on Monday with a welcome video on Twitter. In this he announced his new task in Hebrew and addressed greetings to the Israeli population.

According to the 62-year-old, Germany and Israel have a relationship that is unlike any other in the world. “Today we are partners and friends,” says Seibert. He was happy to answer any questions about Germany and “their [the Israeli, i. Red.] to get to know different views and challenges better.”

Seibert was government spokesman and one of Angela Merkel’s closest confidants from August 2010 until the change of government to the traffic light in December 2021. The fact that he now gets an ambassadorship is quite unusual. Seibert has not undergone any diplomatic training and is a career changer in diplomatic operations.

Unlike in the US, for example, where the president often provides deserving friends or party donors with posts as ambassadors, the Federal Foreign Office recruits its staff through the diplomatic service – ambassadors are therefore mostly career diplomats.