The Apostolic Nuncio of Israel has been reappointed by the new Pope to hold the same position in the United States. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Pietro Sambi as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Sambi succeeds Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, who has held the post since 1998. An Apostolic Nuncio (also known as a Papal Nuncio) is a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state, having ambassadorial rank. He often also serves as the Vatican’s eye on the national church, officiously supervising the episcopate. He was nominated Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Cyprus, and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine on June 6, 1998.