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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Israel reopens its embassy in Egypt after four years closure

Israeli Director-General of Foreign Ministry Dore Gold at the
opening ceremony of Israeli Embassy in Cairo
(Image: Times of Israel)
Israel has reopened its Embassy in Cairo after the four year closure, according to the Wednesday's statement of Israeli Prime Minister spokesman to the Arab media Ofir Gendelman.

Israeli Embassy was located in the premises in Giza, along the Nile Corniche, but it was forced to close in the aftermath of the massive unrests and anti-Israeli protests in Cairo in September 2011.

Hundreds of Egyptians protested against Israel and stormed the Tel-Aviv mission in Cairo after Israeli military accidently killed six Egyptian border soldiers in a fire against the Sinai based militants. Angered protesters demanded end of diplomatic relation with the neighboring country, and the situation was extremely tense.

Israeli embassy worked since that time in Maadi, Southern Cairo, working mostly on the issues of cooperation between the two countries, as there are not a lot of Egyptian citizens travelling to Israel, so the office issuing visas is relatively calm.

Egypt has recalled its Ambassador to Israel in 2012, under Mohamed Morsi rule, as a protests against Israeli led 2012 Gaza war. This position remained vacant since that time, though the new Egyptian Ambassador, Hazem Khairat, was appointed by Egyptian authorities in summer 2015 and is expected to start his work in the nearest future.

Israeli Embassy will temporarily operate at the residence of Israeli Ambassador, Haiem Koren, in Cairo district of Maadi. This premise will be used as Israeli Embassy headquarters before the new building will be constructed.

The ceremony of re-opening of Israeli Embassy in Cairo did not receive huge attention of the local press, though it was attended by important Israeli and Egyptian officials,  including Dore Gold, Director-General of Israeli Foreign Ministry, who stated that under the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi two countries renewed their cooperation in order to achieve peace and stability in the region. Doe Gold also stated that "Egypt will always remain the region's biggest and most significant country".

Egypt was the first Arab country that recognized the State of Israel after signing the US brokered Camp David Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979.