Egypt's Recalled Ambassador to Israel Appointed to Consultative Council
Egypt's long-serving ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Bassiouni, who was recalled last year, has been appointed to the country's consultative council, said reports.
It was not clear if President Hosni Mubarak's appointment of Bassiouni to the council, a kind of senate without lawmaking powers, would bar him from returning to his job in Tel Aviv, said AFP.
Egyptian officials were not immediately available to explain the appointment's significance when contacted by the agency.
Mubarak decided to withdraw Bassiouni on November 21 in protest at Israel's "escalating aggression" against the Palestinians, the day after the Jewish state launched a massive bombardment of Gaza City.
Bassiouni was among 45 Egyptians appointed by the president to the consultative council and their appointments became effective Sunday.
Bassiouni has said Egypt will only send an ambassador back to Tel Aviv once Israel ends its violence against the Palestinians, takes steps to rebuild trust, and returns to peace talks.
According to an analyst speaking to Abu Dhabi satellite channel, the appointment of Bassiouni is by no means an indication of Egypt’s intention to sever relations with Israel.
He added that the return of an envoy to Tel Aviv would happen, but “not soon.” -Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)