Jordan, Egypt return envoys to Israel

Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel, have announced that they will return their ambassadors to Tel Aviv.

    King Abd Allah (L) and President Husni Mubarak back the move

    Jordan has sent a message to Israel seeking its approval for the nomination of Maruf Bakhit as its new envoy to the Jewish state, Foreign Minister Hani Mulki said in remarks published on Thursday. 

    "The foreign ministry has sent Israel a letter to sound out them on the appointment of the Jordanian ambassador to Tel Aviv and we are waiting for a reply," Mulki told the semi-official Al-Rai newspaper. 

    The move follows announcement's at the Sharm al-Shaikh summit hosted by Egypt on Tuesday which brought together the new Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon.

    Held under Egyptian and Jordanian auspices, with both Husni Mubarak and King Abd Allah attending, both leaders said that

    they would be returning their ambassadors to Israel after a break of more than four years.

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al-Ghait announced that  a new ambassador would be sent within a week to 10 days, but said

     that the new ambassador had first to be picked.


    "I find this act a betrayal to the Palestinians and all Arabs"

    Muhammad al-Wasif,

     Misr Al Fatah party

    Both countries withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv shortly after the outbreak of the Palestinian Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000 with Amman not replacing a departing ambassador in protest at Israel's actions to quell the uprising. 

    Opposition parties in Egypt protested the move, saying that pressure from the US, a close ally of Israel, had forced President Husni Mubarak to take the step. 

    "I find this act a betrayal to the Palestinians and all Arabs," said Muhammad al-Wasif, a leader of Misr al-Fatah party.
    Egypt's 1979 peace deal with Israel is widely percieved as having done little to bridge the gulf between Israelis and Egyptians, who feel strong sympathy for Palestinian's under Zionist occupation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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