Pavan Kapoor, a 1990-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, was on Thursday named India’s new envoy to Israel, as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj prepares to visit Tel Aviv later this month.

“Pavan Kapoor (lFS:1990), high commissioner of India in Maputo, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Israel,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

Kapoor will replace Jaideep Sarkar.

Swaraj is scheduled to visit Israel and Palestine later in January, as a part of India&’s Link West policy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to visit Israel and Palestine later this year.

In October, President Pranab Mukherjee visited Israel, becoming the first Indian head of state to do so.

India-Israel ties have seen a boost ever since the Modi government took over in May 2014.