In a positive diplomatic development, Egypt reinstated its ambassador to Israel after the Arab country withdrew its envoy in 2012 to protest an Israeli military operation against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt has sent a new ambassador to Israel after a three-year hiatus.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the ambassador, Hazem Hairat, arrived on Friday.
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi named ambassador Khairat in June, and he has now finally arrived.
Khairat, the former Egytian ambassador to Damascus, replaced Atef Salem Al-Ahl, who was in his post for less than a month in late 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the move.
“This past weekend, a new Egyptian ambassador arrived to Israel, Hazem Khairat. I welcome his arrival,” he said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.” 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.”
Israel and Egypt signed a historic peace accord in 1979, but relations have often been cool.
Egypt withdrew its ambassador in November 2012 to protest an Israeli Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. At the time, Egypt was led by Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Since Morsi was ousted by the military in 2013, relations have steadily improved.
In September, Israel reopened its embassy in Cairo, four years after it was ransacked by a violent mob.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff
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