The Foreign Ministry's appointments committee named senior diplomat David Govrin as Israel's new ambassador to Egypt on Wednesday. Govrin will replace Haim Koren, who asked to return to Israel after a two-year stint as ambassador in Cairo. The appointment is still subject to cabinet approval.
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Govrin, currently head of the Jordan desk at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, has served in a series of positions throughout the Middle East over the years, including at the embassy in Cairo. Govrin speaks Arabic and is a doctor of Middle East history.
Current ambassador Haim Koren asked to step down after only two years, citing personal reasons, mostly due to the difficult service conditions in Cairo, caused by the security situation. Since a mob raided the Israeli embassy in September 2011, the ambassador has been staying in the Egyptian capital for only three days a week – Monday to Friday – returning to Israel on weekends.
The ambassador's movements around Cairo are very limited, and are accompanied by a massive security array. As a result, most of his activities are centered in the embassy, which is located in a small building in the yard of the ambassador's residence.