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Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Presents Credentials

Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt, Yaakov Amitai, submits his credentials, promises to work to maintain peace.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/28/2012, 5:45 AM

Riot at Israeli embassy in Cairo
Riot at Israeli embassy in Cairo
Flash 90

Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt, Yaakov Amitai, submitted his credentials to the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, on Monday.

Channel 10 News reported that in an official ceremony, with other ambassadors presenting their credentials as well, an Egyptian band played the national anthems of the various countries whose ambassadors were presenting their credentials. The band also played Hatikvah, Israel's national anthem.

According to the report, Amitai and Tantawi later held a conversation in which they both stressed the importance of the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt and the cooperation between the two countries. “I will do my best to deepen understanding and strengthen the cooperation between Egypt and Israel,” Amitai was quoted as having said.

The extremist Muslim Brotherhood, which clinched the majority in recent parliamentary elections in Egypt, recently threatened to cancel the peace treaty with Israel by putting the issue up for a referendum and letting Egyptians decide. Presidential candidate Moussa Amr, however, recently rejected the possibility that the 1979 treaty would be cancelled.

Amitai previously served as Israel's ambassador to Kenya and Ethiopia and as Deputy Director of the Center for Political Research at the Foreign Ministry. He replaced the previous ambassador, Yitzchak Levanon, who retired.

The activity in the Israeli embassy in Cairo was suspended in early September after an angry mob stormed the embassy and completely trashed the facility.

The Egyptian daily Al Ahram newspaper later reported that some 150 attackers who broke in to the embassy said they were paid by an unnamed millionaire to storm the building.

The interim Egyptian government, however, blamed the riot on "outside agitators."