Diplomacy

New Egyptian Envoy to Israel Seen as Sign of Stronger Ties

After more than three years of absence, Egypt’s new ambassador to Israel arrived at the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv on Friday.

Ambassador Hazem Khairat is soon expected to formally present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. “It’s something that has been, that is deeply welcomed in Israel and I think it’s very good for cementing the peace that exists between Egypt and Israel,” he said when the appointment was announced in June. Khairat has previously served as ambassador to Chile and as Egypt’s representative at the Arab League. The previous Egyptian ambassador arrived in October 2012 but was recalled shortly afterward by the government of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi after Israel responded to Hamas rocket fire in Operation Pillar of Defense the following month.

The return of an Egyptian ambassador to Israel enables Jerusalem to “further strengthen relations with this important and key Arab country,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in remarks at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.

This past weekend a new Egyptian ambassador arrived to Israel, Hazem Khairat. I welcome his arrival; I welcome the re-stationing of an Egyptian ambassador in Israel, which will enable us to further strengthen relations with this important and key Arab country.

Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, now in the opposition in the Knesset, also offered her praise:

Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Haim Koren presented his credentials to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi in September 2014. Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since Sisi took power. Netanyahu and then-Israeli President Shimon Peres congratulated Sisi on his election in 2014, and Netanyahu engaged in regular conversations with Sisi during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

Jordan returned its ambassador to Israel in February of last year.

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