Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt, David Govrin, on Wednesday presented his credentials to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at his palace in Cairo, enabling him to begin officially contacting Egyptian government officials in his capacity as a diplomatic representative.
Govrin was confirmed as ambassador on April 3 and arrived in Egypt on July 17. However, according to international diplomatic protocol, an ambassador is legally restricted from reaching out to officials before handing a letter of credence to the host country’s head of state.
The appointment comes at a time of warming relations between Jerusalem and Cairo.
Israel closed its Cairo embassy in September 2011, after it was overrun by thousands of protesters. It was reopened last September.
David Govrin, Israel's new ambassador to Egypt, presented today his credentials to President Sisi. Mabrouk&Mazel Tov pic.twitter.com/35sf2w1RPF
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) August 31, 2016
The new Egypt ambassador is a career diplomat, a fluent Arab speaker, and most recently held the post of director of Jordan and North Africa Department in the Foreign Ministry. He is a Jerusalemite whose first foreign posting was to Cairo, serving as first secretary in Israel’s embassy from 1994 to 1997.
He received a PhD from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, writing a thesis entitled “The New Liberal Discourse on Reforms and Democratization in the Mashrek Countries 1990-2005.”
He said he first visited Egypt at the beginning of his studies and “fell in love with Egypt, especially with Egyptian hospitality and sense of humor.”
“I am very pleased to be returning to the land of the Nile, as an Egyptian proverb says: ‘Whoever has drunk from the waters of the Nile will return to it,'” said Govrin.
Govrin replaced Haim Koren, who asked to step down after two years in the post due to the difficult security situation.