A year after Cairo recalled its ambassador to Israel amid regional turmoil, a new ambassador arrived in the country on Sunday. Atef Salem, a career diplomat, is expected to present his credentials to President Shimon Peres on October 17, according to the Ministry.
There hasn’t been an ambassador serving in Israel since August 2011, when Cairo recalled Yasser Reda from Tel Aviv to protest the deaths of five Egyptian servicemen who died in a border incident.
“He has been appointed and has already arrived in Israel. We welcome him and wish him good luck,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson told The Times of Israel.
Atef Salem served previously as Egypt’s consul-general in Eilat.
Bilateral relations have been frosty for months now and have been nearly frozen since the Islamist Mohammed Morsi became the Arab Republic’s new president in June.
In February, when Egypt was still controlled by the country’s military council, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi accepted the credentials of Israel’s incoming ambassador to Egypt, Yaacov Amitai.
“The presentation of credentials was held in a cordial atmosphere,” the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said at the time in a statement. Amitai, who arrived in Cairo in December 2011, and Tantawi spoke to each other, reiterating “the importance of the peace agreement and cooperation” for both countries,” according to the statement.