New Egyptian ambassador brings Israel ‘message of peace’
Incoming ambassadors from Egypt and Jordan presented their credentials to President Shimon Peres on Wednesday, both of them affirming their governments’ desires to maintain their respective peace treaties with Israel and to further peace in the Middle East.
“I came with the message of peace and I came to confirm that we are really working for mutual trust and transparency,” Ambassador Atef Salem of Egypt told Peres at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. “We are committed to all the agreements we signed with Israel and we’re also committed to the peace treaty with Israel.”
The arrival of the two new envoys — both career diplomats — appeared to mark a rare and significant positive step amid Israel’s complex relations with its Arab neighbors. While Jerusalem’s ties with Amman and Cairo are formally intact, relations between the governments and citizens have of late been frosty at best, and the two appointments come after a prolonged period in which both posts were vacant.