No Egyptian Ambassador To Israel
Persistent media reports over the past month have claimed that Egypt has named a new ambassador to Israel. This was supposedly a price exacted from the Egyptians by Israel and the United States, in return for allowing Egypt to play an active role in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. However, Egyptian sources deny that any such appointment has taken place.
In November 2000 Egypt ordered its ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Bassiouny, to return home immediately, after a night of rocket attacks on the Gaza Strip. Amr Moussa, who was Egypt’s Foreign Minister at the time, said that the decision to recall Ambassador Bassiouny to Cairo was taken because of deliberate use of force against the Palestinian people
In June 2001, former Ambassador Bassiouny became a presidential appointee to the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament, and retired from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This ended any Israeli hope that he would shortly return to Tel-Aviv.
The recent visit to Israel by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher raised new rumors that a new ambassador would shortly be appointed. Minister Maher was accompanied on his unsuccessful trip to Israel by Egyptian Muhsen al-Nueimi, who was subsequently named in the media as the upcoming ambassador to Israel.
However, Given Israel’s continuing military operations against the Palestinians, it seems highly unlikely that Egypt will be appointing a new ambassador anytime soon.
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)