Newspaper article International New York Times

Israel Puts an Embassy Back in Cairo after a Siege ; Reopening Reflects Effort to Strengthen Ties with Egypt's Government

Newspaper article International New York Times

Israel Puts an Embassy Back in Cairo after a Siege ; Reopening Reflects Effort to Strengthen Ties with Egypt's Government

Article excerpt

The reopening on Wednesday reflects Israel's effort to strengthen ties with the military-backed government in Egypt.

Israel has reopened an embassy in Cairo four years after the previous embassy was stormed by demonstrators during the aftermath of the popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The reopening on Wednesday reflects Israel's effort to strengthen ties with the military-backed government in Egypt as an era of mass protest appears to have receded.

Israeli officials say they enjoy a robust relationship with the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former military chief who led the armed forces' overthrow of Mr. Mubarak's elected Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013.

"It's going on for a while," said the Israeli ambassador, Haim Koren, speaking by telephone after a ceremony inaugurating the new embassy in what had been the ambassador's residence. "Especially on security issues, the cooperation is coming much better now."

In September 2011, a huge throng of protesters massed at the embassy, and some broke into the building while Egyptian security forces stood by. Riot police officers later clashed with the angry crowd in a street battle, resulting in the deaths of at least two people. Egyptian commandos rescued six Israeli staff members who had been trapped in the building for 13 hours.

The warming in relations is partly predicated on cooperation on security. In the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt's military is battling Islamic State-allied insurgents who have killed many Egyptian soldiers and police officers. …

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