Israel said to complain to Egypt over exclusion from diplomatic briefings
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Israel said to complain to Egypt over exclusion from diplomatic briefings

Ambassador reportedly voices objection over having never been invited to official events, despite security cooperation between nations

Israeli Ambassador to Egypt David Govrin at his home in Mevasseret Zion, near Jerusalem, on June 5, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israeli Ambassador to Egypt David Govrin at his home in Mevasseret Zion, near Jerusalem, on June 5, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israel has reportedly lodged a formal complaint with Egypt for regularly excluding it from diplomatic events and briefings.

A recent missive from Ambassador to Egypt David Govrin said “Israel’s embassy in Cairo wishes to express its chagrin over the fact that it has never been invited” to briefings held by the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Kan public broadcaster reported Thursday.

According to the report, that included a briefing on Islamic State in Sinai, a matter on which the Egyptian and Israeli militaries are believed to cooperate closely.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, right, in New York on September 19, 2017 (Avi Ohayun)

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon would not confirm the complaint, saying, “We do not comment on internal ministry communications.”

Since they established diplomatic relations in 1978 after years of hostility and a series of wars, ties between Israel and Egypt have historically been civil but frosty.

In recent years the two countries have enjoyed closer intelligence and security ties over their shared enmity toward Islamist terror groups and other common regional concerns.

Official relations have remained complicated, however, and Israel is deeply unpopular with the Egyptian public.

In November Cairo’s Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat said the peace treaty between the nations will remains incomplete as long as a Palestinian state has not been created.

That same month Egyptian officials declined an Israeli invitation to a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Israel in 1977, which paved the way for peace.

In September Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in New York in the first-ever public sit-down between the two leaders. The pair had “a comprehensive discussion about the problems of the region,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

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