Israel's New Cairo Envoy: Egypt Peace Treaty Will Be Preserved

Ambassador Yaakov Amitai arrived in Cairo on Monday, three months after Egyptian rioters ransacked Israel's embassy.

Israel’s new ambassador to Egypt, Yaakov Amitai, told reporters on Monday that he was “sure that the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel will be preserved.”

Amitai also told reporters, “With god’s help, the Egyptian revolution will succeed.”

Cairo crowd attacks Israel Embassy  - AFP - 11092011

Asked whether he was worried about the Muslim Brotherhood taking power in Egypt, Amitai said he want to learn about developments in Egypt before answering such a question. “I want to deal with Egypt’s internal affairs,” Amitai said.

Egyptian reporters asked Amitai about warnings on the part of Israeli officials, including former Defense Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer, that a confrontation between Israel and Egypt was on the horizon.

Amitai denied that this was Israel’s position.

“My role is to strengthen peace between Israel and Egypt,” Amitai said. “I served in Egypt before in the 1980’s, and I am fulfilling the well-known saying that anyone who has drunk once from the Nile, will return to it once more,” he added.

Amitai arrived in Cairo on Monday, three months after rioters ransacked the Israeli Embassy in the Egyptian capital. He replaces Yitzhak Levanon, who was ambassador when the embassy was stormed in September after six Egyptian guards were killed by Israeli troops pursuing militants responsible for the deaths of eight Israelis on the border.

Israel’s embassy in Egypt has been closed for a few months since the attack. Following the attack, Israel’s diplomatic corps in Egypt was evacuated to Israel, but in recent weeks some of them have returned to their posts in Cairo.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry is looking for a new building for the Embassy, which will be in line with the ministry’s security requirement. For the moment, the new Ambassador will work, along with the remainder of Israel’s diplomatic staff in Egypt, from the Ambassador’s residence.