Toward Warming Relations, Al-Sisi Receives Israel’s New Ambassador to Egypt

Egypt has received Israel’s new ambassador to Cairo, amid warming relations between Egypt and Tel Aviv under al-Sisi reign.

David Govrin presented his credentials to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi becoming Israel’s 13th ambassador to Egypt since the countries established ties in 1980.

Govrin arrived in Egypt six weeks ago in the awake of reviving the diplomatic ties between both countries after Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry’s latest visit last July, according to Jerusalem Post.

Accordingly, a few days after the Egyptian FM’s latest visit to Israel, the Israeli International Radio’s Arabic website announced that David Govrin, the new Israeli ambassador to Egypt will begin serving in Cairo.

Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry’s latest visit didn’t only break the nine-year stretch of no Egyptian foreign minister going to Israel, it’s also important that the visit comes at the diplomatic level not on the intelligence level as it used to happen during Mubarak’s rule.

The former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak used to send  General Intelligence Service Chairman Omar Suleiman to discuss military and intelligence cooperation and the peace process with the Palestinians, or to consult over policy vis-a-vis Hamas.

According to many observers and Israeli media, the decision to send the foreign minister showed a new level of ties closer to political normalization.

After January revolution in 2011, public dissent against Israel escalated when the Egyptian crowds surrounded the Israeli embassy in Cairo over the killing of five Egyptian policemen by Israeli forces in Sinai. Since the incident, Israel closed it embassy before it reopened it in September 2015.

Even after the military coup in 2013, the Egyptian public are still against normalization with the Zionist entity. In this context, the former ambassador Koren was behind the sacking of an Egyptian member of parliament. In March, a majority of parliamentary votes supported a decision to expel MP Tawfik Okasha because of receiving Koren at his house without prior notification to the parliament.

Moreover, the Egyptian public’s burning of the Israeli flag is still practiced in Egypt, most recently in front of the Press Syndicate in reaction to Shoukry’s visit.