New Israel envoy expected in Egypt this week

By REUTERS
December 11, 2011 14:16

Yaakov Amitai set to replace Yitzhak Levanon who was ambassador during storming of embassy in August.

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Egypt flag

Egypt flag 311. (photo credit:Thinkstock/Imagebank)

CAIRO - The new ambassador to Egypt is set to arrive in Cairo this week after his predecessor was pulled out when the embassy was attacked by protesters in September, Egyptian and Israeli sources said on Sunday.

Yaakov Amitai, the new envoy, replaces Yitzhak Levanon, who was ambassador when the embassy was stormed during protests over the killing in August of Egyptian guards by Israeli troops pursuing terrorists who had killed eight Israelis on the border.

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Staff from the Israeli embassy, located in a high-rise building in central Cairo, were evacuated after the protests in September. Levanon briefly returned to Egypt in November for farewell meetings with foreign and Egyptian diplomats.

Egypt's state news agency, citing airport sources, said the new envoy, who had been named to the role some 10 months ago, would come to Cairo on Monday to begin work.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman also said Amitai, a fluent Arabic speaker who has previously served at the embassy in Cairo, was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital on Monday but did not rule out last-minute changes to those plans.

An Israeli source had said last month that Amitai would present his credentials in December but had also said the embassy would not be staffed or resume normal activity until acceptable security arrangements were in place.

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