Egypt names J'lem envoy amid concern over ties

Ataf Salam set to present credentials to President Peres next month in encouraging sign for Israel-Egypt relations.

Egyptian flag hangs at embassy in Tel Aviv 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
Egyptian flag hangs at embassy in Tel Aviv 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
Amid all the concern about the direction Israel-Egypt ties are going under Egypt’s new Islamic President Mohamed Morsy, the Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that the new Egyptian ambassador will present his credentials to President Shimon Peres on October 17.
“The big deal about the announcement,” one diplomatic official said, “is that the relationship is continuing and naming a new ambassador is not a big deal.”
The official said he did not know of any Egyptian hesitancy to send a replacement for Yasser Rada, who finished his term a few weeks ago.
The new ambassador is Ataf Salam, who began working in that capacity on Sunday.
He previously served as Egypt’s consul- general in Eilat.
Government officials maintain that despite the new administration in Egypt, and the tense situation in Sinai, there is continuous contact between Israeli and Egyptian officials at many different levels.
The officials said the US has played a key role in facilitating this ongoing contact.
While Egypt has sent a new ambassador, Jordan still has not.
The Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv has been without an ambassador for over two years, since King Abdullah II appointed Ali al-Ayed, the former envoy, as Jordan’s minister of media affairs and communications in July 2010. Amman never named a replacement.