Egypt ambassador returns to Israel

Egypt has returned an ambassador to Israel more than four years after Cairo recalled its envoy at the outset of the Palestinian intifada, Israeli media has reported.

    The announcement came after the Sharm al-Shaikh summit

    Muhammad Asim Ibrahim was welcomed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport by officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, an Israeli ministry spokesman said on Thursday. 

    "He will present his credentials to President Moshe Katsav on Monday together with the new Jordanian ambassador," the spokesman added.

    Jordan and Egypt - the only two Arab states to have signed peace treaties with Israel - announced the return of their ambassadors after a Middle East peace summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Shaikh on 8 February. 

    Ibrahim initially had been expected in Tel Aviv on Sunday. There was no official reason for his delayed departure, but an Israeli government spokesman said last week that any delay would be due to technical reasons. 

    Ibrahim was previously Egypt's ambassador to Sudan and held the same position in Kenya and Ethiopia. He has served at the embassy in Israel and also worked in Egypt's intelligence services.

    Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, withdrew its ambassador shortly after the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada in September 2000, while Amman did not replace a departing envoy in protest against Israel's actions to quell the uprising.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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