Israel opened a new embassy in Cairo on Wednesday, the foreign ministry announced, four years after protesters in the Egyptian capital stormed the Jewish state’s mission following Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow.
“The Israeli embassy in Egypt is back in operation today,” a ministry statement said. “Today, exactly four years ago, the Israeli diplomats were forced to leave the Israeli embassy.”
Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but ties have remained formally cold over Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.
Ties frayed further after president Mubarak’s ouster in the 2011 revolution, hitting a low point when protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in September that year amid clashes with police.
Israeli diplomats were evacuated but eventually returned to Cairo, working from a temporary location.
Heading the diplomatic staff in Cairo is ambassador Haim Koren, who already presented his credentials last September.
Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, welcomed the embassy’s reopening.
“Against the background of regional developments, many opportunities present themselves for cooperation and an enhancement of relations between Israel and states in the region, especially Egypt,” she said.
In June, Egypt appointed a new ambassador to Israel to fill a post left vacant since ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi recalled Cairo’s previous envoy in 2012.
Ties between Egypt and Israel soured after Morsi’s June 2012 election as president following the ouster of Mubarak.
Morsi himself was ousted in July 2013 by then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was elected Egypt’s president in 2014.