New US Ambassador to Israel Says Egypt, Jordan Should Return Ambassadors
The new US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, said Tuesday that Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab nations to have peace accords with the Jewish state, should return their ambassadors as soon as possible, reports said.
"We think it's time for the two countries to be represented in Israel at the ambassadorial level," the ambassador said in an interview with Israeli army radio after presenting his credentials to Israeli President Moshe Katsav.
"We have heard the explanations of the leadership in the two countries as to why that hasn't happened yet, but we remain hopeful," he said, cited by the Israeli press.
Egypt recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv in November after Israel pounded Palestinian targets in air and sea strikes during the early weeks of the Palestinian uprising against Israel's 34-year military occupation.
In addition, Jordan declined to send its new ambassador after the unrest flared.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel-Ilah Al Khatib said at the time that the decision would "remain in force as long as Israel has not met two basic conditions: an end to its attacks against the Palestinian people and a demonstration of a true commitment to the peace process."
Kurtzer, who arrived in Israel last week, was previously the US ambassador to Cairo, and is the first Orthodox Jew to become Washington's ambassador to the Jewish state – Albawaba.com
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