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Ministers to approve new ambassador to Egypt next week

Netanyahu, FM Ashkenazi agree on selection of Amira Oron, who was tapped for post in 2018 but had vote on her appointment delayed as prime minister weighed other candidate

Amira Oron (Screenshot via Channel 10)
Amira Oron (Screenshot via Channel 10)

Cabinet ministers are set to approve the appointment of the new ambassador to Egypt next week, over a year-and-a-half after she was first tapped for the post.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi agreed a vote on veteran diplomat Amira Oron’s candidacy would be held during Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Hebrew media reported Tuesday.

Oron was selected for the ambassadorship by the Foreign Ministry in October 2018, but a vote on her appointment was delayed as Netanyahu instead considered appointing Likud lawmaker Ayoud Kara to the post.

Kara, a staunch supporter of Netanyahu with a history of diplomatic gaffes, withdrew his candidacy for the position last year amid opposition in the diplomatic corps to his appointment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with Ayoub Kara at a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 7, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Diplomatic staff made public appeals to the government to install Oron, who previously served in the Egyptian capital and headed the Foreign Ministry’s Egypt division.

If approved as the new ambassador, Oron will take over for David Govrin, who took up the post in 2016.

The sign posted outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt. (Israeli embassy in Egypt official Facebook page via AP)

In 2017, Govrin and his staff returned to Israel for eight months due to unspecified security threats. Upon their return to Egypt, they resumed work from the envoy’s suburban Cairo home.

Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, in 1979, but relations have always been frosty due to popular Egyptian support for Palestinians.

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.

Egypt has also played a key role in attempts to bring an end to hostilities between Israel and Hamas, as well as Palestinian reconciliation talks.

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