A senior foreign office diplomat and one-time private secretary to Tony Blair has been appointed as the next British ambassador to Israel, writes Justin Cohen.

David Quarrey, who will arrive in Israel to succeed Matthew Gould in July, has previously headed the UK Mission to the United Nations and also served in New Delhi and Harare. He is currently Director of the foreign office’s Near East and North Africa division.

quarreyQuarrey, who entered the foreign office in 1994, said: “I am delighted to be appointed as British Ambassador to Israel. It is a great privilege to have this opportunity to deepen our already thriving economic, science and technology ties with Israel, cooperate against shared security threats and work for progress towards peace.”

Jewish News reported exclusively last August that Quarrey was poised to become the new ambassador. One community source said at the time Quarrey said at the time “he has gone out of his way to engage with communal leaders including at key moments like the Palestinian’s UN statehood bid” in his current role.

Reacting to JLC chief executive Simon Johnson said: “He has a good grasp of the issues from his time at the FCO and is well known to the community as a result of his liaison from his former role. He will doubtless be well equipped to build on the impressive legacy of Matthew Gould, who has been an engaged, enthusiastic and effective Ambassador.”

ZF chair Paul Charney said: “We hope that that David Quarrey will continue the valuable work of Matthew Gould in building and strengthening the ties between Israel and Britain, ties based on our historic relationship, shared values, and scientific aspirations.”

Gould, who took up the role in September 2010 and was due to return home this summer, announced last October that the Foreign Office had agreed to his request to remain in Israel for an extra year.

Among Gould’s most notable achievements over the past four years has been the establishment of a hi-tech hub to encourage British-Israeli partnerships in digital, biomedical and cleantech – a model which is to be replicated by embassies around the globe.