Location of new Israeli Embassy in Cairo finalized as ambassador returns to Egypt
Courtesy: Spokesperson for Israeli PM Ofir Gendelman's Facebook Page
 

An agreement has been reached regarding the location of the new Israeli Embassy in Cairo, an Egyptian diplomatic source told Mada Masr. This follows reports on Tuesday that Israeli Ambassador David Gorvin had arrived in the capital accompanied by eight diplomats. The envoy is expected to resume his post after an eight-month absence.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that “the parties in charge of finalizing the matter, namely the Foreign Ministry, security services and the Israeli Embassy, had different views on where the new embassy should be located, and who should provide security.” According to the source, the disagreements were resolved after the other parties agreed to Israel’s request to build the embassy on an empty plot of land in Maadi, close to the ambassador’s home, and permit them to oversee its construction and security.

The source told Mada Masr, “Egyptian security services initially objected to the Maadi premises, due to its close proximity to a security checkpoint and Israeli requests to be in charge of security. In the end their demands were accepted.”

The Associated Press first announced that Egypt would resume its diplomatic mission in Egypt on Tuesday, following earlier meetings between Gorvin and Egyptian authorities.

The embassy’s closure dates back to September, 2011, when a group of protesters broke into the embassy’s Giza premises. Egyptian authorities subsequently suggested the diplomatic mission relocate to the Fifth Settlement in New Cairo. According to the source, “the parties continued to discuss the issue, however, the Israeli party said that there were security concerns regarding the move to the Fifth Settlement. They also said they felt that by relocating to an isolated neighborhood, they were being cut off from society.”

During this time the diplomatic mission worked out of the ambassador’s residence in Maadi until he was withdrawn from Egypt and relocated to Tel Aviv in December, 2016, due to fears that he would be targeted during a trip to survey the proposed site in the Fifth Settlement, the source said.

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