(JNS.org) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has appointed Egypt’s first ambassador to Israel in three years, marking a possible sign of continued warming relations between the two Mideast powers.
The new ambassador, Hazem Khairat, previously served as Egypt’s envoy to the Arab League and Chile. Egypt recalled its last envoy in Tel Aviv, Atef Salem, in 2012 under then president Mohammed Morsi—a leader of Hamas’s parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood—in protest of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza that year. Since then, Salem has served in Cairo and has not returned to Tel Aviv.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Egypt’s decision to send a new ambassador to the Jewish state.
“It strengthens the ties between our countries. It strengthens peace,” Netanyahu said.
Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, Haim Koren, recently made history by becoming the first Israeli envoy to ever deliver a Ramadan greeting to the Egyptian people. In a video message in Arabic posted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Koren said, “On my behalf and on behalf of the people of Israel ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, we wish the Egyptian people Ramadan Kareem.”