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Concerns in Israel over Deteriorating Relations with Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Egyptian soldier stands near the Egyptian national flag and the Israeli flag at the Taba crossing between Egypt and Israel. (Reuters)

Tel-Aviv – Senior Israeli sources expressed their concern over the “serious deterioration” of relations with Egypt in diplomatic channels and the closing of the Israeli embassy in Cairo for the eighth consecutive month.

During a meeting recently held by the parliamentary subcommittee in the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Army and the Ministry of Economy said that relations with Egypt have sharply decline since the departure of the diplomatic corps from Cairo, said parliamentary sources,

However, officials at the National Security Council in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office tried to play down the situation.

They said that the continuation of security relations with Egypt was more important for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, which was shut in December 2016.

The Israeli ambassador and his staff were returned to Israel for security reasons, purportedly following a warning of an attack against the embassy. Since then, the diplomatic corps has not returned, while Israel accuses Egypt of stalling to implement the required security arrangements.

Sources at the meeting, which was held two weeks ago, said that the representatives of the foreign ministry stressed that the months-long absence of a diplomatic representation in Cairo has made the ties between the two countries “very difficult.”

They added that cooperation between the Israeli foreign ministry and the Egyptian government was limited to talks with the Egyptian ambassador to Israel and his staff.